Friday, July 9, 2010

The Missing Part 2

Created to be "the habitation of God through the Spirit," but born in spiritual orphanage because of our original forefather's sin - "in Adam all die" - the history of the human race involves the chronicle of our deluded attempts to install something, anything, to repair the problem of the missing part (Ephesians 2:22; I Corinthians 15:22).

Only the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ can fill the void, however, and until He enters our being at the time of our new birth, we stumble and grope in darkness. We are not truly alive as God defines life until the Holy Spirit dwells within us. "To live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21). We are broken and in need of the repair - the installation of the missing part - that we can never ourselves accomplish. The missing part is God Himself. Only He can fill the void, and only He can install Himself to successfully complete the repair. As the Lord Jesus told His disciples, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you... "He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you" (John 16:7; 14:17).

The fact of God's abiding and dynamic presence within His trusting children is the most amazing aspect of His freely given salvation in Christ. Our hearts were made for Him, and when we believe, the reason for our existence begins to be fulfilled. I write "begins" because it is not enough for our Lord to simply inhabit us. He rather made us as conscious, thinking, feeling, and relating beings who must know "the hope of glory, which is Christ in you," and who must increasingly respond to the wondrous truth (Colossians 1:27). Indeed, everything in our lives changes when the Holy Spirit enters our spirits. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17). We must be made aware of the changes, however, and a lifetime and eternity will be required to discover the magnitude of the Christ-inhabited personality God redeemed us to be.

Believers are called to a humility that acknowledges our nothingness and emptiness apart from Christ. We are also called to the bold confidence that we are not apart from Christ. Thus, our nothingness is dissolved and our emptiness is filled! We arise from humble knees to walk on feet empowered by the literal and living presence of God Himself. "I will dwell in them and walk in them" (II Corinthians 6:16). We are no longer orphans. We are not alone. We live our lives with somebody, the Somebody who made us, who redeemed us, and who filled us with Himself. The missing part is not missing in the heart of those who believe. "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5).

To whatever degree we know this most amazing of all truths, we need to know it better. Believers can thrive in any circumstance and condition so long as we know that our Lord is with us, and even more, within us. "We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" (Romans 8:37). Throughout the history of the church, the testimony has sounded and resounded. From mountaintop and valley, from palace and prison, from birthplace and deathbed, from pleasure and pain, from abundance and poverty, from any and every venue, the abiding presence of God has birthed peace where it seems they could not be. This moment in our lives offers the sublime possibility, and this is written to remind and hopefully enhance our awareness. The Lord Jesus is with us. He is within us. Wherever we are, whatever our circumstance, and however things may seem, our Savior is nearer than our next breath. He is the heart and reality of this hour in our lives. We are repaired, and if we will acknowledge the blessed truth, our lives will increasingly and vibrantly reveal that the missing part is no longer missing.

"Your life is hid with Christ in God."
(Colossians 3:3)

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