Christ In His People
By Lois J. Stucky (1928 – 2014)
Many of us from time to time catch a fresh glimpse of Jesus. Our hearts aspire anew to be more like the lovely Being that He is. We want Jesus to be seen in us. We want to be more “real” in our Christian life, more faithful to God, more gladly and promptly obedient, more willing for sacrifice. We pray to be more worthy to bear His name. Do we know what we ask? We read of the Christ-life in God’s Word. But though we know and use the language, we are not satisfied with the measure in which we possess it and live it out.
To be sure, we are grateful for all God is working in our lives. We are more than thankful that sin no longer reigns in us as it once did, at least in most areas. But when we seriously examine our hearts, we may find things, perhaps almost hidden away in cracks and crevices. An ugly varmint word may startle us by darting out in an unguarded moment, or an obnoxious weed of bitterness may spring up from roots that remain under the surface. Unkind words or moods or selfish or sensual behavior betray a heart need.
Thank God for the “fountain filled with Blood” – the soul-cleansing Blood of the dear Lamb of God. “Sin stains are lost in its life-giving flow.” Might we quickly avail ourselves of this precious provision of God, so costly to Himself and His Son, so freely available to us. God help us never to take sin lightly. And more, God help us by faith to take our place with Christ on the Cross, where the old man is crucified with Him. The glory side is that we are then raised with Him to walk in newness of life. What does this mean in our day-to-day walk, our hour-to-hour living? It means a continual crucifixion, a yielding up of our own wills, our own preferences and desires, for Jesus’ sake. That results in deliverance from our self-centered life that the Christ-centered life might be in us. It means joy and peace and love – in short, victory!
Living in Christ and Christ living in me! The blessed reality of this Christ-life is not something we can initiate or imitate. It is a supernatural life made possible as we have the Holy Spirit abiding in us in rich and full measure. He is the One who bears the Heavenly life in us and causes it to flow out from us. It is the Holy Spirit who gives reality to our Christian profession. It is by the Spirit that we mortify the flesh that Christ might be manifested.
I remember that for a time I prayed that Jesus would be my “magnificent obsession” – an expression I had heard somewhere which seemed to sum up what I wanted Jesus to be in my life. Gradually the Lord brought me to see I needed more of the Holy Spirit’s fullness in my life to make Jesus become all to me. God’s provisions for us through the Lord Jesus and through the Holy Spirit are so excellent and complete! If only we apprehend and appropriate them more fully!