Hidden With Christ

Col 3:3 “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”

Not that we must die, but Paul tells the Colossians, “ye are dead”. In Christ they have a life that is dead to sin and dead to this world. But this life is “hid with Christ in God”.

“As the glory of Christ now is hid from the world, so also the glory of believers' inner life, proceeding from communion with Him, is still hidden with Christ in God” (J, F, & B).

Col 3:4 “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”

1Jo 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

What a glorious hope we have as believers! What a promise! We don’t fully see all that we are in Christ right now. We are told we are dead to sin, raised up with Him, seated in the heavenlies with Him, holy, sanctified, righteous, etc.

We don’t always see this in our lives so we struggle and strive to be righteous, to be dead to sin, and self. We try our best to do what we perceive is God’s will, and we think this is the best we can do.

We need to see our life is “in Him” and hid with Christ in God. Not only is it hid in the sense that it is not fully seen yet, all that this wonderful life that God gave us is, but it is also kept, preserved, secured for us in Christ. It is kept hidden from the world and not fully manifested. At times in our walk that life manifests itself and is seen to those around us and God is glorified. But one day when Christ appears, all that we are in Him and all that glory will be brought to light and made manifest.

Our life is also kept safe and preserved in Christ...

1Pe 1:3-5 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

This life is ours to partake of here as we walk with Him, in Him, abiding in His life and trusting fully in the life that He has already given us. He Himself is that life and we only have it as we walk trusting in His Spirit that He gave us now to indwell us, not by striving to produce it in our flesh or make ourselves more acceptable somehow to God. We could never please Him any other way than to put our faith in what He has already accomplished, and abiding in Him.

Gal 5:5-6 “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”

Gal 5:25 “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Our life is hid with Christ…it is only with Christ, in Christ as we abide in Him and partake of His life, and walk by faith in our union with Him that this life is manifested in us and through us. He has given us all we need in Him…

2Pe 1:3-4 “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

We are dead – dead to self, dead to this world, and dead to sin, yet we live, and our life is hid with Christ. Paul said it this way…

Gal 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Our life is held and watched over as precious in God’s site. Nothing that comes our way is out of His sight or control. When it seems our life is at its end, or hopeless or full of sorrow or pain or trouble, this is not our real life. Our real life is safe with Him, hidden in Him, kept and preserved in Him and all the while this life we see now is being made less and less important as that real life is being more and more made manifest for what it is, as we walk by faith in Him. We must trust Him with all of it!

I hope you find peace and comfort in this truth, as I have. May the Lord open our eyes daily to our real life in Him!

Living By His Life

Col 3:3-4 “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”

If our lives are “hidden in Christ” then we will only find that life as we abide in Christ and live by His life in us. We will not successfully live the Christian life by trying to imitate Christ, or by trying to obey Him, or by anything but abiding in Him.

We partake of that life because of the Holy Spirit He has given us to dwell in us, filling us, drawing us to become one with Him in heart, soul, and mind. Have you ever considered the greatest commandment?

Mat 22:37 “And Jesus said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind."

This is only possible to be fulfilled as the life of Christ abides in us and we abide in Him, drawing from Him that love that is His very nature. If you think it an impossible command to ever fulfill, you are right. He alone can fulfill it, as He intends to fulfill every command in our hearts as we live, not by the law, but by Him. Our real life is hidden in Him. It will never be apart from Him. It can never be any other way. We will never find righteousness apart from Him. We will never find love apart from Him. We will never find wisdom, understanding, etc. apart from Him Who is the source of all of it. If we ask for any of these as something separate from Him, we won’t find it. But as we abide in Him we partake of Him Who is Wisdom, Understanding, Righteousness, etc. He Who fills us, and controls our hearts, now is to us all these things.

Our life is hidden in Christ. When He appears we also will appear with Him in the splendor of His glory! What we are in Him will be fully manifest. For now we live in these earthen vessels, and we find that life and partake of it only as we abide in Him, depending on Him Who is our life, by faith, with eyes that see things eternal and not things temporal, with eyes that see beyond this body that we live in on this earth, as dead to this earth and alive to Him, seated with Him in the heavenlies.

There is no other way to conquer the world, the flesh, and the devil, but in this position. We must see ourselves as He sees us, and live by faith in this fact, that our life is hidden with Christ in God. We must count on it and reckon it as such no matter what our outward circumstances tell us. It is only by faith that we partake of that life, and we see it manifested in us here more and more as we grow in true knowledge of Him walking by faith.

We seek many times to find answer to prayer without realizing we are not in the right place to receive answers to our prayers. Andrew Murray says it very well….

”Abiding in Christ, further, keeps us in the place where the answer can be bestowed. Some believers pray earnestly for blessing; but when God comes and looks for them to bless them, they are not to be found. They never thought that the blessing must not only be asked, but waited for, and received in prayer. Abiding in Christ is the place for receiving answers. Out of Him the answer would be dangerous—we should consume it on our lusts (James 4:3). Many of the richest answers –say for spiritual grace, or for power to work and to bless—can only come in the shape of a larger experience of what God makes Christ to us. The fulness IN HIM; abiding in Him is the condition of power in prayer, because the answer is treasured up and bestowed in Him.”

Believer, abide in Christ, for there is the school of prayer—mighty, effectual, answer-bringing prayer. Abide in Him, and you shall learn what to so many is a mystery: that the secret of the prayer of faith is the life of faith—the life that abides in Christ alone.”

His life is like a well springing up from deep inside us that we draw from daily. If we do not draw from that well, but draw from other sources, we cannot find the graces we search for to live as He would have us to live. Drink deeply from that spring of living water abiding in You, find your real life there, hidden in Him, being made manifest in you now, and walk in that wonderful hope of the day when it will be made completely manifest when we appear with Him.

I have found in times of weakness, and times when inside I felt myself faint and weary from the hardness of this life, that this well has sprung up and given me strength in my inner being to go on, and a love and inner joy that spurs me on and gives me renewed life and energy. It is this that Paul meant when he said, Phi 4:13 ”I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” He strengthens us through our union with Him as we draw that life from Him. We won’t find it outside of that union.

Abba, Father, I thank You for the life You have provided for us through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Teach us to daily, moment-by-moment abide in that life and put our faith in You and all You have done in us, trusting to see the end result, a life that Christ is manifested in.

The Faithful Light

1Th 5:9-10 "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him."

1Th 5:24 "Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it."

Mat 4:16 “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.”

Jesus came in to this world not to condemn us but to save us from the wrath that would come to the world. During this Christmas season we want to focus on His coming. He came the first time to bring salvation, and He will be faithful to the end to finish that which He called us to. He will do it! And He will come again to take His own to be with Him where He is....

Jameison, Faucet, and Brown commentary says:

1Th 5:24 - Faithful--to His covenant promises (Joh_10:27-29; 1Co_1:9; 1Co_10:23; Phi_1:6).

he that calleth you--God, the caller of His people, will cause His calling not to fall short of its designed end.

do it--preserve and present you blameless at the coming of Christ (1Th_5:23; Rom_8:30; 1Pe_5:10). You must not look at the foes before and behind, on the right hand and on the left, but to God's faithfulness to His promises, God's zeal for His honor, and God's love for those whom He calls.

This world is a world growing darker and more violent all around us with hate. Yet we carry His light into this darkness - this message of hope, and light, and life in the midst of it.

The message relies on His faithfulness to fulfill it, not on us. He Who called us - He's the one that will accomplish His perfect plan of redemption from beginning to end.

How brightly that light shines in a dark world. The darker the world becomes the brighter that light appears. The world grows more and more intolerant of it because they love darkness, and don't want to be exposed, yet they cannot put it out.

We must stand in that light and never lose sight of it, regardless of how dark the world gets around us. There is a wrath coming on them that they are oblivious to. The light they see in us reminds them of it and they cringe and run away from it. They hate us for it! Yet some will see that they don't have to remain in the darkness but can come into that light themselves.

It seems hopeless as we see the world growing darker around us. Yet it is "He Who is faithful" that will not only accomplish His purpose in us, but also through us bringing His light to this dark world. We simply need to abide in Him, walking in His light. We become like lanterns to the world when we do, lighting their paths also.

We must never compromise with the darkness out of fear or intimidation. We must not try to be like those in the darkness so we can be more likeable or accepted. And we must not be afraid of our light offending them, but we must continue walking in the light and though we stick out like a sore thumb, and are hated for it, we must continue to be God's lanterns to lead them, just as Jesus was when He walked the earth.

Mat 5:14-16 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Is the world seeing God’s light in your life? He is faithful…He will fulfill it. Trust Him to do it. Many times it means persecution, personal loss, loss of friends, or much grief in our own lives to stay in that light when others around us enjoy the darkness. If we choose to walk with Him in the light, abiding in Him, we suffer also with Him, as He also suffers with us. Even in that, there is a joy in sharing His sufferings, being made like Him in His death, so that we may be like Him in His resurrection.

Soon the world will grow darker than it’s ever been, and men’s hearts will fail them for fear. The truth of God’s Word is the only true light that will give them hope and help, and light their way. If that truth is blurred by mixture and compromise, it further adds to their darkness rather than delivering them.

“The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” That only light is Jesus….not man’s philosophies, not anything any human being accomplished or ever could. Will we trust God to accomplish all that that light brings into our own hearts, and through us to this dark world? There is no other way but to walk by faith in His faithfulness – the One Who promised is faithful, and He will do it. Trust Him, when everyone else around you shuns you and your light. Trust Him, when nobody else understands. Trust Him through the dark nights of your own soul, and all the while others in the darkness around you, though you do not perhaps know it, or see evidence of it, are seeing His light shine ever so brightly through you.

May God fill your heart with the joy and life that comes from abiding in His light today. Faithful is He that called you! Yes, He will do it.

The Things We Forget

There are times we go through testings, trials, or temptations, and forget certain things in the midst of it all. We find ourselves taking matters into our own hands, or letting our thoughts of despair control us, giving in to depression. Recently through a trial I was going through it dawned on me how I was forgetting certain things – at least to walk in them or put them into practice in the midst of my trial. When I did the burden was lifted. I made a list of certain things that are easy for us to forget.

We forget…

  1. That God is sovereign over all the circumstances in our lives, and He loves us.
  2. That we are not of this world but are only passing through.
  3. To thank God in all our circumstances as an act of faith in 1 and 2, and because we can wholly trust Him with everything that comes to us in this life that He works it out for our good.
  4. To rejoice in Him always, and delight in Him, every day, regardless of what is happening around us. It is a command. Phil. 4:4, Ps. 37:3-6
  5. That our destiny is in God’s hands from beginning to end and we have a hope that will never perish or fade away preserved in heaven for us, and if we suffer with Him we will also reign with Him.
  6. That this life is not our pleasure, but Jesus Christ is our pleasure and life.
  7. To cast our burdens on the Lord. We tend to carry them ourselves and try to work them out until they finally overcome us.

It’s so easy to lose our focus when we’re in the boat and the wind and the waves of our lives are stirred up and Jesus seems to be sleeping. We struggle to keep from drowning under it all, forgetting Who He is, Whose we are, and Whose purpose is being performed in us, through us, and around us, and we forget to pray, to trust, and to delight in all that He is.

Psa 37:3-6 “Trust in Jehovah and do good; live in the land and feed on faithfulness. And delight yourself in Jehovah, that He may give you your heart's desire. Roll your way on Jehovah and trust in Him; and He will work. And He will bring forth your righteousness like the light; and your judgment like the noon day.” (LITV)

We forget to “feed on His faithfulness”- on His Word of truth, constantly relying on the Lord for our Spiritual sustenance. As we do this, we find Him our delight and joy, even in – and especially in – the trials and challenges we face. We are able to trust Him as His Word and His Spirit nourishes and strengthens us, and reveals to us Himself. As we do He is able to perform His righteousness in us and bring His purpose to pass for our lives.

Heb 12:5-11 And you have forgotten the exhortation which He speaks with you, as with sons, "My sons, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor faint while being corrected by Him. For whom the Lord loves, He disciplines, and whips every son whom He receives." If you endure discipline, God is dealing with you as with sons; for who is the son whom a father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become sharers, then you are bastards, and not sons. Furthermore, indeed we have had fathers of our flesh as correctors, and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits, and we shall live? For they truly disciplined us for a few days according to the thing seeming good to them; but He for our profit, in order for us to partake of His holiness. And all discipline for the present indeed does not seem to be joyous, but grievous; but afterward it gives back peaceable fruit of righteousness to the ones having been exercised by it.”

The “chastening” of the Lord is not punishment but training unto righteousness. We learn through it to yield ourselves to God, and to rest in Him, and walk by faith. How much chastisement – or training we must endure depends on how well we learn our lessons!

We also forget that all our hardships are God’s opportunity to glorify Himself to us, in us, and through us to others around us. It is God’s opportunity to be strength in our weakness. It is His opportunity to be light in darkness, and to overcome evil. Yet our tendency is only to see our weakness and helplessness and to become angry that He has left us to it.

We forget that it is not our right or our business to deal with thee hardships on our own, our own way, making our own decisions apart from Him in the matter. It is our obligation to bring them all to Him knowing that we – along with everything in our lives – belong to Him, and not us, and is for His glory and pleasure. And this is revealed through our circumstances as we walk by faith.

We forget to not give in to fear, because He is our keeper, and will never leave us or forsake us, and He wills our highest good. We must remember to trust His promises. He does not promise us no hardship on this earth, but He promises us…

John 14:27 “I leave peace to you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be timid.”

The world has peace when circumstances are good. We have peace because of His Spirit in us in spite of outward circumstances, knowing that our life is hidden in Christ, and we have a joy unspeakable and full of glory in Him.

And He promises us… Rom 8:28-31 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”

Abba Father, help us remember not to forget! Help us to walk in faith and stand firm in You, not being shaken by anything that comes to us.

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