“If you are depending on anything but Him, you will never know when He is gone.” Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest Reading for Jan. 20
If Jesus’ positive influence, inspiration and abundance in you appeared to be suddenly gone, what would change in your daily life? Would you perceive He was gone? Would anyone perceive a difference in you because He left?
How far are we from saying with Paul “For to me to live is Christ”? How much help do we count on from other sources besides Jesus to live abundantly? How much of our daily behavior is sustained and explained by sources other than Jesus in us?
For Christ to be formed in us we must escort out of our inner life all other sources we invited into our life before accepting Christ. This is what it means to “put off…the old man”
… if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:21-24
As one author put it, “The positive must expel the negative.” Christ in us is the perfect positive and He requires our cooperation with the expelling of the needy negative.
Unfortunately, we do not “escort out” all the negative because we are afraid Jesus will not be positive enough in the now vacant space in our inner life. I like to call the “put off” or “escort out” process “constant abundance expels cronic necessity.” This is what abiding in Christ does in us.
Once we have “put off” or “escorted out” the cronic, negative necessity we must turn these negative and needy sources away from our inner life when they ask to come back inside. And they will ask!
All Jesus needs to do to get our spiritual attention so we see what needs to be escorted out is to give us the impression He is “gone” even for a moment. If this momentary sense of His absence makes little or no difference in us, we know that He is not completely formed in us. When just the thought of His prescence being gone takes your spiritual breath away, that is a good sign!
Only when Jesus is the positive and abundant source that sustains you and explains you is He formed in you.
My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you. Galatians 4:19-20
Jesus is never really gone from you! Cooperate with His perfect abundance by escorting all negative necessity out of your inner life. Then live the abundance of Christ in you moment by moment.