Friday, April 23, 2010

Christ in You the Hope of Your Glory

The Miracle of Christ in You

By Abraham Israel

"Christ's life showed me how [I have already been crucified in Him who is a substitute on my behalf before God], and [now He has] enabled me to do it [day in and day out by faith in what He has done for me]. I identified myself completely with him [through His substitutionary death and resurrection on my behalf]. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not "mine," but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Gal 2:20, MSG).

Only when we try to impress upon people we wil try to take their words to our heart. Only when we take people's words to our heart, we will be affected negatively by it. When we know that our life of character, giftings, all the extraordinary acheivements and even our ordinary mundane day to day moments of our lives existence is not at all by our own strength or ability, then we know that we do not have to feel hurt by other people's hurtful words or actions. We can choose to let all the insulting words and actions of people to go because we know that it is Christ who lives in us. As Fenelon says, "He who thinks nothing is due to him, never thinks himself illtreated." Such "Not I but Christ in Me" positive thinking keeps our attitude positive all the time.

One of the greatest man of positive thinking who lived in the kingdom of God on earth was Paul the Apostle who practiced such positive thinking time and time again in his life. When Paul wrote the book of Galatians to this particular Church, they all deserted him and his gospel of grace for a law-based false gospel living which was propagated by the deceptive false teachers of the law. But because of his positive attitude he said to them in-spite of their hurtful, rejecting and prideful bad behaviour, "...You [i.e. the Galatian Church members] have not injured me at all." (Gal 4:12). If we ask the question, how was he able to say this? Because he believed it is not him and his old self which has great ego lived in him, but the humble and meek Christ lived within his frailing physical body literally.

When people speak good words about you, do not take it deep inside you as a reward for your good behaviour, talent or your acheivement. It is only a bonus that you have received because you are walking in God, the real reward that you should be joyful about is when God says,"Well done, good and faithful servant..." (Matt 25:21) through His Spirit who is living inside your spirit-man deep inside you (Rom 8:16). Always say "Praise the Lord or Glory to God", whenever you are famously and greatly spoken about. This will redirect the glory received by you to God immediately.

When you take people's good word of appreciation as your reward, you will very soon be bound to them and will start to live expecting another good word from them. This is spiritual beggarism. Beggars can't be choosers. They will lose the ability to choose good words and God's word to be put in to their heart that keeps them positive, and from that point of time would become an emotional beggar who finds solace in other people's crumb of words. What have you done to yourself? Instead of receiving a regular salary of reward from God, you are trying to live in the meagre bonus that people give you. Soon you will become spiritually peniless, dry and hurtful in your souls which should have been like a watered Garden if it had been rewarded by God (Isa 58:11).

It is not wrong to be poor but it is a crime to stay that way the rest of your life. Why? It is because of the choice of your own being that you are staying in the dry and arid land of men-pleasing fleshly attitude. As Charles Spurgeon says, "Character is always lost when a high ideal is sacrificied on the altar of conformity and popularity." The high ideal is to know always and affirm to yourself that it is not you who is living in you, but Christ the master lover of your spirit, soul and body who lives and works in you and through you all the time (John 14:10). Do not at any point of time sacrifice this "Not I but Christ in Me" positive mental attitude, for popularity and conformity to the worldly egoistic thinking of self which makes you to take the words of people to your heart. Don't try to live your life in just receiving your bonus which is people's appreciation, but live your life abundantly receiving God's regular salary which is God's appreciation that comes as a reward for those who live by faith in Christ (Heb 11:6). When you live your earthly life by faith in Christ, Christ by His living presence will live His heavenly life in you. Praise the Lord!


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