It seems that the shortest of the short words we call prepositions are also the most powerful. Yesterday we looked at the power of “to.” As we go “to” God/Christ we are heading the in right direction. He is our compass, our guide.
Today’s word is just as short and perhaps more powerful: “in.”
I am reminded of the great hymn, “In Christ Alone.” Here we see how the life, death and resurrection of Christ sets us free to live our lives without fear and with great confidence. I love the line in the last verse: “No power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand, until He comes or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I stand.”
The hymn speaks of our position in Christ because of what He has done for us. Hallelujah for this position! We did not earn this; this is the great gift of God that we live in. However, there is another aspect of “in” that requires our conscious effort. And this aspect of “in” empowers us to live transformed and fruitful lives.
In John 15, Jesus speaks of Himself as the Vine and we, as his disciples, are the branches. The key concept of this analogy is “to abide in” or “to dwell in.” While the position of grace emphasizes what has already been done for us, we still need to respond. And that response is more than us going to Jesus or following behind Jesus.
We are to live in Jesus.
While the dynamics of this concept is a great mystery, the practicality of it is quite simple: acts of trust. Notice that I said acts of trust, not just mental trust. The difference is seeing a chair and believing that it would support your weight versus actually sitting in it. The latter is the act of trust.
For me, it’s about taking time to be still, silent and listen for God’s voice rather than assuming that I know what God is saying to me. It’s about acting on what God is saying to me, rather than postponing it or putting on the back burner. It’s about obeying Him by taking the initiative to reconcile with a person I’m at odds with, rather than waiting for them to initiate. It’s about spending regular, daily time with Him, not as a task to check off my “to-do” list, but because I am meeting with the Lover of my Soul. It’s about asking and relying on His strength as I do His will, because I know there is no way I can do it in my own.
I like to call these “in” activities “Worship in the Everyday Ordinary.” It’s where the rubber of our faith in Christ meets the road of our actual lives.
There are many other aspects and applications of what it means to live in Christ. You, my reading friend, probably have a few ideas that would help me – please share what comes to your mind!