About twelve years ago, our son-in-law was stationed in Tucson, Arizona [home of our Alma Mater, the U of A, "Go Wildcats!" But I digress...]. When the school year for my ESOL class had ended in June, I flew to Tucson for an extended visit.
Beth and Nate were both working during the daytime, so I had some lovely, restful, sun-filled (and "Son-filled") time alone by the pool. At that time, I was reading some of Brennan Manning's books.
One day I was reading The Signature of Jesus: The Call to a Life Marked by Holy Passion & Relentless Faith as I soaked up the Arizona sun by the pool. I was somewhat annoyed to see that a man lying on a lounge nearby was straining to see what I was reading.
He struck up a conversation, and we exchanged pleasantries. Then the question came, "What are you reading? What's it about?"
When I told him about the book, he replied taken aback, "You must be a devout Christian."
I responded, somewhat ashamed at my original annoyance, "Jesus is my Life! I can't imagine living life without Him. There's a Settled Presence in me no matter what I go through."
If you have been following "A branch in the Vine" for long,* you have heard a lot about Jesus being Life, zoe, God’s Life. And perhaps you have also discovered afresh the fact that you are united to this Living Christ…you are in Him and He is in you! You are ONE! Separation is no longer the name of the game. No, UNION! He Himself is your life!
In the past, you may have wrongly believed like me that God gives me “the stuff” to live the life, stuff like peace, love, joy, help, strength, etc as if they are all items in a Christian “Prayer-order Catalog.” And all of these spiritual “items” help me live the Christian Life.
No, the Christian Life is an impossible life, and it can only be lived by one Person, our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Only One who can live His Life in and through me … as me. So let’s park right here for the next few blog posts and look at THE REST OF FAITH: Living the “Yet Not I, but CHRIST” Life.
But in the meantime, take a look at these passages of Scripture and rejoice in the God who lives in union with His children through faith in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ:
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Romans 8:9-11 ESV
. . . the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Colossians 1:27b ESV
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20 KJV
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
1 Corinthians 15:10 KJV
*also the subject of The With-ness of our God: Relationship in Every Dimension.