Many people choose to react externally to the issues that come at them. Some people choose to react mostly internally.
I am certain that you know that both types of responses are equally opposite to responding by and from the Christ-Life in us [Col. 1:27].
Some external responding leads men to prison, or worse. Some internal responding leads to hospitalization, or worse.
This is because the “I-life,” identified in Scripture as the “flesh” (Gk, sarx – patterns, programming, etc.) can carry us only so far, never far enough. Imagine hitting a home run, proceeding to run the bases, and running out of gas as you cross second base. Face down in the dirt, we understand how weak, though LOUD and determined, the flesh is.
Part of the answer is to cease striving to improve or overcome the “I” [Phil. 3:3]. That has never worked in human history. You and I are not going to be the ones who prove God wrong. For all of its potential for relative good, we must abandon the flesh and operating by it.
What then is The Way, the true alternative? And why does the mainstream church not seem to be proclaiming it?
The mainstream church is focused on what we may call “the frontside of the Cross,” hearing, believing and accepting Jesus’ Finished Work for forgiveness and salvation, as in eternal security. New believers are “Heaven-ready!” But they don’t know how to function down here. They become “saved and stuck,” and for lack of understanding of Christ Jesus living in them, “the backside,” or “the other side of the Cross,” they flounder, fail repeatedly, and continue relying on the flesh in them, that is not them any more.
The Way is a Person. The How-to is Jesus in every believer. He said, “I Am The Way” [John 14:6].
When we panic and freak out because of all that is coming at us, we cry out, “How do I do this, Lord?” He points to Himself. The Spirit of Christ points us to Christ in us. The New Covenant points to Jesus as our very Life.
In the same way that we came to Christ, believed and received Him, we may now walk in full confidence and dependence on Jesus in us, every minute, every day. We abide/live in Him, He abides/lives in us [John 15:1-8].
Many Bible-teachers focus on methods, many on power or authority, many on doing, activity, and trying harder. But there are some who “got the memo,” more and more who simply point to Jesus in us, as He responds calmly to our cries by pointing to Himself.
Yes, Jesus in His glorified body is with Father on the Throne of Grace in Glory. And, yes, Jesus in His Holy Spirit, is in us, everyday, all the time, never leaving, for us (For), in us (In), and through us (Through), which is HOW we are F-I-T for every good work/everything down here on Earth. And this “other side,” or “the rest of the Gospel” is part of the Finished Work, which makes it also by Grace, not by our “I” work/s [Gal. 2:20].
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Gal. 5:16,17). This inner conflict is a “Great Either/Or,” not a both/and. And our defaulting to the Christ-Life in us, no longer to the flesh/sarx, is easy and light because of a truth about Grace, which most believers have not yet understood, hidden in this crucial passage, and NT passages like it. And here it is: Opposed, even violently opposed, is NOT EQUAL TO. [Through our union with Christ the we have freedom from sin’s authority and the Holy Spirit is omnipotent, Rom. 6:6; 1 John 4:4.]
You will likely need several days or weeks to let this settle in and change your thinking. But I can confidently assure you that if you will embrace it, you will never be stuck again.
Depend on Christ in you as your Life, as your How-to for everything. The joy of the Lord [IN US] is our strength/Life!
by Dan Camp, eEncourager, 9/29/22, Avon, IN