Posted by: dailywordofdestiny | August 11, 2013


Hidden in Christ

“Therefore, my dear friends…continue to work out your salvation in fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth (see John 1: 12-14), that we might be a kind of first fruits of all He created (see 1 Corinthians 15: 20). For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For, I have the desire to do what is good but I cannot carry it out. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 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. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Philippians 2: 12, 13; 2 Corinthians 3: 5; James 1: 16-18; Ephesians 2: 10; Romans 7: 18, 22-24; Galatians 5: 17).

Have you ever wondered what it really means to “live in the Spirit?” I have heard and read these words thinking that I had a pretty good understanding of what they meant. God always has His way of revealing how little I actually do know. It is my prayer that this message will perhaps give you added understanding and that it will truly help “set you free.”

I Am Free! There are two aspects of our Christian experience; how we were saved by faith in Christ from our sinful nature (Ephesians 2: 4-9) and the second is related to our practical daily Christian walk (Romans 7: 1- 8: 39). To live in the flesh is to do something “out from my “self”. It includes all my past ways of coping and dealing with things in a way I felt comfortable with up to Christ. When I gave my life to Christ, my old ways of handling things were not acceptable anymore. It is a fact that in Christ my old man was crucified, and it is a present fact that I am blessed “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1: 3); but if I do not live in the Spirit, then my life will contradict that I am in Christ. His life and His ways will not be expressed in and through me. For example, my old temper still shows up, or my desiring to control my environment and those about me may still be a problem. What is the trouble, oh wretched woman that I am? It is that I am holding the truth objectively (I believe what I see around me and react to it), where what is true must be made true subjectively (I believe in Christ and His Word even though I don’t see it) and that is brought about as I live in the Spirit.

Not only am I in Christ, but Christ is IN me. As man can’t live and work in water but only in air (oxygen), so spiritually, Christ dwells and manifests Himself not in terms of “flesh” but of “spirit”. So, if I live “in the flesh”, what is mine in Christ is held in suspense in me. Even though I am in Christ, I may still live in my own strength and under my own direction and because of this, in daily experiences my “old sin nature” shows up. If I want to experience all that is in Christ, then I have to live in the Spirit.

Living in the Spirit means that I will trust Holy Spirit to do in me what I cannot do myself. Every time I am faced with a new demand from the LORD, I look to Him TO DO IN ME WHAT HE REQUIRES of me. It is not TRYING, but TRUSTING; it is not STRUGGLING, but RESTING in Him. If I have a hasty temper, impure thoughts, a quick tongue, or a critical spirit, I SHALL NOT SET OUT WITH A DETERMINED EFFORT TO CHANGE MYSELF, but instead, reckoning myself dead in Christ to these things, I shall look to the Spirit of God to produce in me the needed purity, humility, or meekness; CONFIDENT THAT HE WILL DO SO. “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today…The LORD will fight for you, you need only to be still” (Exodus 14: 13, 14). When Holy Spirit takes things in hand, there is no need for strain on our part. It is not a case of “clenching our teeth” (as I often do) and taking “a grip on ourselves” (I do that too), and thinking that we have “controlled ourselves beautifully” and had a glorious victory. No, the REAL VICTORY is where the LORD carries us through!

I like the passage in 1 Corinthians 10: 13 that promises God’s faithfulness in not letting us be tempted beyond what we can bear; however, if you are tempted, that He WILL provide a way that you can stand up under it. I believe the object of any temptation is always to get us to DO something. Satan’s temptations are not necessarily designed to make us do something sinful, but they are designed to cause us to ACT IN OUR OWN ENERGY. For example, when some event causes us to feel anger begin to well up within us, we need to STEP BACK from it at once; acknowledge it to the LORD then and there and ask Holy Spirit to bring PEACE and LOVE into our heart. Then WITHOUT A SOUND, WITHOUT A STRUGGLE, TRUST HIM TO DO THIS. I have TRIED TO CONTROL myself in this kind of situation. I have prayed on the way to work and have asked the LORD to reign in my heart. I have repeatedly said, “LORD, I submit ALL areas of my life to You.” Then, as soon as I walk in the door to the office chaos breaks out and all my good intentions fly out the window! I pray again the next day and the next and as I look back, I see that I have become more peaceful in situations (Mark 4: 26-29; see Exodus33: 21-23). Thank You, LORD!

As soon as we step out from the cover of Christ into the realm of the flesh, Satan has gained the victory over us. So where does our help come from? Galatians 5: 16, 17 says the fight with the flesh IS NOT OURS but Holy Spirit’s and it is to be He, not we, who meets and deals with it. The result is that we may not do the things that we would. If we live in the Spirit, if we walk by faith in the risen Christ, we can truly “stand aside” while Holy Spirit gains new victories over the flesh every day. Our victory lies in HIDING IN CHRIST (Psalm 27: 5, 6; Galatians 5: 1) and in relying upon Holy Spirit within us to overcome our fleshy lusts with His own new desires (Romans 8: 26). The cross has been given to procure salvation for us; the Spirit has been given to produce salvation in us. Hallelujah, you can choose to rest in Him and say, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4: 13).

The Lord reminds YOU to…
“Live with Me in my secret place; rest in My shadow. For I am your fortress, your deliverer, and your shield. I have broken Satan’s yoke, and burst your bonds asunder. In repentance and rest is your salvation and in quietness and trust is your strength. Take the keys to the kingdom, open the door, and come in. It is there you find all you need; all provision. I am the answer to your every appeal. Call the name, JESUS! Watch circumstances and feelings change. Live up to My vision of you, through Christ.”

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