So. I’m starting to rethink that definition. It seems so often that’s exactly what we do as christians. We manifest the qualities of Jesus. We try to do lots of spiritual things to “live for Christ”, and to be a witness to the world.
“Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you… When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love.” [excerpts from John 15] The Message
Intimately at home in Jesus. I get a whole different feeling from that image. So often we get distracted trying to be good christians. Trying to be spiritual. Trying to worship more, pray more, DO more for God. And maybe the whole time Jesus is watching and just wishing we would stop it all. All of it.. and sit down and just.. be with him. Like a friend. Talk to him. Not a church prayer stuffed with the right phrases. Not even just sitting there and asking him prayer requests. Just.. chatting with him.
You know all the rules we try to follow.. all the laws we try so hard not to break. Then we get so focused on doing the right things.. and trying to not to the wrong ones.. that we forget that its not about trying to pile up brownie points with God.
We had no power to save ourselves. None at all. So we ran to the cross as sinners and Jesus saved us. He gave us a new heart and life and freedom and most importantly, filled us with himself.
So then we drag ourselves around like “sinners saved by grace”.. collapsing at the cross at the end of the day to ask forgiveness for all the ways we failed. That’s what we’re supposed to do. It’s what we are stuck doing. Every day the same.
But maybe its not what we could be doing. We don’t have to be sinners saved by grace. When we surrender to Jesus, give him our sins, our everything.. We don’t have to stay a sinner. As christians, we have Jesus Christ inside of us, the one who conquered the grave. Why would we live like a sinner.. head hanging down, trying so hard to impress God by the things we do? We have a choice. To chose to accept the fact that we can remain intimately at home in Christ’s love, to accept the fact that we are now christians – a little Christ! That means that we are no longer sinners. We are children of God and he is happy with us. He loves us. He is our friend.. our very best one. An intimate relationship … love, joy, peace, life.. freedom.
I’m finally starting to grasp this myself.. and because of it, I’ve never been so happy in my life. So full of joy, so full of Jesus! Remaining intimately in Christ’s love is indescribably more wonderful than dragging around my pains and insecurities and failures and trying so hard to be a good christian and impress Christ with how spiritual I can be.
The best part of it all is for the first time in my life I’m finding real victory, real life. The power in me from remaining in Jesus and him in me.. gives me life and freedom and power. Power I’ve never had. Not just power. Companionship.. and for the first time in my life, I know that He is proud of me.
Thats not all. I have a heart of love for other people.. wanting to be Christ to them, to love on them for Jesus.. to make them attracted to a love relationship with Christ by watching me, by feeling Christ in me by what I do for them.
“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong. By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward – to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” Phillippians 3.12-14 The Message