October 1 I Monday
“Remain in Me, as I also remain in you.” —John 15:4
Experiencing Christ in our lives is to experience the pre-existent Creator of everything that is. He placed every star in the universe, and in Him all things hold together. If we can explain our lives in any other terms than the activity of Christ, then we are not enjoying the liberty and power that can be ours in union with Him.
The wonderful thing about the Christian life is that our bodies become the dwelling place of Jesus Christ. He is not “up there” and we “down here,” but as Paul writes in Ephesians 3:17, “Christ will live in your hearts” (CEV). That is where His workshop is, where He will express Himself and become the source of our growth in moral character and spiritual fruitfulness. We become one with Him; not an organizational, ecumenical or doctrinal oneness, but a spiritual oneness, just as He is with His Father.
During His ministry on earth, Jesus said, “The Son can do nothing by Himself” (John 5:19). In John 8:28, He said, “I do nothing on My own but speak just what the Father has taught me.” In all His teaching and miracles, Jesus revealed it was God at work in Him and through Him. Jesus was never less than God, but He lived as though He was never more than a man, limiting Himself to our limitations and drawing only on the resources available to us in God.
In the same way as God was at work in the Son, the Son is at work in us. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). All fruit we produce that is lasting will have its origin in the work of Christ as we abide in Him. That is to live every day in love for Him, obedience to Him and dependence on Him. In this way, we allow the Holy Spirit within us to function freely, and what makes the difference is that we are no longer relying on our resources. We are experiencing Christ: His power, His sufficiency and His resources.
When we depend upon Christ, we are drawing upon the grace, presence and power of His indwelling Spirit, and we learn things about Him we would never learn otherwise. In areas where we feel incapable and in circumstances where our backs are against the wall, we discover the utter sufficiency of Him. Complete dependency on Christ is liberating and glorifies God. What we need to recognize is that Christianity is not a lifestyle, but a life—a divine life experienced in union with Christ.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I cannot imagine a better life than one lived in union with You. Thank You for making Your home in my heart and being all that I need.