The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Part 2 - "What Music We Can Make!"
While Christlikeness would be a frustrating impossibility apart from our Lord's indwelling life, knowing that God has "sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts" makes being like the Lord Jesus a thrilling prospect (Galatians 4:6). Who will He be within and through us in this day for the pleasure, glory, and will of our Heavenly Father?"
"By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me" (I Corinthians 15:10).
James Stewart (the Scottish preacher, not the actor) profoundly illustrated this truth.
"For what Christ has done is to make us feel, at all the gateways of our nature, the pressure and bombardment of the infinite energies of a world unseen. He has shown us how our little life, with unsearchable riches to draw upon, can be reinforced beyond all calculation. I may not be able to fight down some evil thing. But if Christ were here, He could. So then, if Christ is in me, He can. This transfusion of spirit and energy is really possible... If Mozart were in you, what music you could make! That cannot be. But here is something that can: if Christ were in you, what a life you could live! This is faith's logic. God wants you to know that you can rise above the level of your limitations. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13).
To be like Christ in character, nature, and way requires His risen life present and active within us. This is precisely what the Lord promised: "I will dwell in them and walk in them" (II Corinthians 6:16). The challenge faced by even devout born again believers involves the fact that a strain of independence remains in the flesh of every Christian. 'The flesh lusteth against the spirit" (Galatians 5:17). Thus, our native tendency tempts us to live as if we possess the means to navigate the course of our existence in and of ourselves. Nothing could be further from the truth. Apart from Christ, we cannot be like Christ. "Without Me, ye can do nothing" (John 15:5). Thankfully, we are not apart from Him if we have believed. Again, He indwells and walks in us through the Holy Spirit. However, we can still live as if we are merely ourselves, as opposed to ourselves inhabited and empowered by the Christ who died for us, and now lives in us.
"So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh, the law of sin" (Romans 7:25).
Proud independence characterizes "the law of sin" in our flesh, leading to failure if we seek to live by our own means. Thankfully, another law dwells within our Christ-inhabited spiritual selves, namely, "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:2). Also referred to in Scripture as "the perfect law of liberty," this dynamic power source supplies the joyful prospect of hope mentioned at the beginning of this essay (James 1:25). Indeed, if the Lord Jesus lives and walks in us by His Spirit, who will He be and what will He do through us in this day? This is life as defined by God, the life of His Son revealed in all who trust Him. "We… live through Him" (I John 4:9). Nothing else qualifies as authentic living because human beings were not made to live in and of ourselves. "To live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21).
As we trust and submit to our Heavenly Father, how will His Spirit reveal the character, nature, and way of the Lord Jesus in us today? How shall we be more like Him? The joyous prospect beckons us to the confidence that whatever this day holds, the One who holds us also lives within us to empower a life beyond anything we can devise or produce. To borrow again from James Stewart, what music we can make!
"I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."
Weekly Memory Verse
Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
(II Corinthians 3:18)