Thursday, April 28, 2016

Living in Christ

Living In Christ
Frustrated and angry, I stomped around the sanctuary spewing out all sorts of complaints to the Lord about the people he had given me to lead. So and so thinks this about me….he just doesn’t get it, doesn’t understand the vision I have for the church….she just opposes and ridicules everything I say…when will they stop being stumbling blocks in front of me and become supporters behind me?

And then the Lord spoke to me, “I was just thinking the same about you! When will you stop running around chasing your own agenda and just spend some time with Me? Will you ever just stop thinking about yourself and your pursuit of success and just listen to what I have to say?”

That hit me right where it hurts, right in the core of my innermost being, for I had been preaching on who we are in Christ – sons and daughters of the Most High, not just servants of God but His friends, forgiven for our mistakes and redeemed from our harmful behavior patterns, given new lives as new creations, holy and set apart to serve God and be a blessing to the world – and here I was going back to the same insane pursuit of worldly success that had ruled my life for so many years.

Somehow my new values in Christ had taken a backseat to the pressures of starting a new church and seeing it grow strong enough to support me and my family. I knew that I needed to live in Christ – in that sphere or realm or reality of living in Him, being connected to Him, being rooted in Him, being in His presence, breathing in His Holy Spirit, the very breath of God – and I also knew that I hadn’t had that kind of experience in a long time.

Sure, I believed the right things and even studied the Bible and taught others, and if I had died right then I know the Lord would have had mercy on me and brought me to heaven with Him because I had placed my faith in Christ and not my own good works. But there was a huge void in my life, a longing in my soul, feelings of anger, unforgiveness, and inadequacy when there should have been joy, love, forgiveness, and all the blessings of beings in Christ.

And all this because somewhere along the way I neglected to carve out time to sit at the feet of my Savior. I took Him and His work on the cross for granted, and I no longer thanked Him for it or talked to Him in prayer or sang spontaneous praises to His name. Instead, I dwelled on the tough circumstances of my life and my own shortcomings.

Don’t get me wrong – I was still saved by His grace and in the eternal view of things I was in Christ and going to heaven – but experientially in this world I was not living in Christ. I wasn’t living the abundant life, I wasn’t seeing my prayers answered, I didn’t have the joy, peace, and love that comes when one abides in Christ because I wasn’t living in Christ. I had accepted Him as Savior and then somewhere along the way I basically told Him to sit back and watch all that I was going to do for Him.

I was zealous and passionate about planting a new church, but in all the busy-ness and craziness of life I quit spending time being in Christ, in that whole new atmosphere of being in Him. By His grace I was still a new creation in Him, but I was like a branch disconnected from the vine; my life source became a distant thing of the past rather than a living reality.

Most of you who are reading this now can likely relate to what I am describing, whether it happened to you in the past or you are currently going through something similar or perhaps you haven’t yet asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. In any case, draw near to Him and surrender your life to Him, trusting that He can bring far better things into your life than you can possibly think or imagine.

That is what happened to me – I remembered that old quote that “the life of Christ is not possible without the life of Christ” – and I realized I was trying to live a Christian life without having the life of Christ be an ongoing reality in my life. I made some changes, got my priorities right by giving Him first place in my life, and I have never regretted it. Life has had its ups and downs but as long as I am abiding in Him, living life in His presence, staying connected to Him, I have had a lot of joy, peace, and love for people and for Him. And that has made all the difference.

Let’s Pray Together: Lord, I want the peace, the joy, the love that comes from knowing You and living in You. I give you my life, knowing that you gave Yours for mine on the cross and that you are alive today at the right hand of the Father, interceding for me and for all those who love you. Help me to live for you, to live in Christ, in that realm of being connected to you, breathing in Your presence, experiencing your love, joy, and peace. Help me to overcome those distractions and temptations that keep me from living in Christ and experiencing all your blessings. Help me especially with these issues that I bring before you now…(continue praying as you feel led)

This devotional is authored and published by Randy Brockett. All publishing rights are reserved but readers are encouraged to repost (please include this copyright info) or share his insights with their family, friends, and congregations. For other devotionals by Randy, see,, and