The Secret to a Successful Christian Life
One of my secrets for authentic and successful Christian living actually is not a secret; it's a truth -- a truth that I pray you will learn to embrace in your own relationship with Jesus Christ.
The "secret" is this: "Christ lives in me." And if I permit Him to do so, He will live His life through me and overcome the world through me!
Does that sound strange? Let me explain by telling you my story.
Slow beginnings for this evangelist
I was converted to Jesus Christ when I was 12 years old at a camp in Argentina, South America. I then bought a Bible, carried it under my arm, and told all of my friends about the Lord Jesus.
After about a year and a half, however, I began to cool down. One day I lost my Bible and didn't bother to buy another. Eventually, I lost all my joy and all my desire to tell others about Jesus Christ.
About four years went by before I took even one step back toward the Lord. Then it took another eight years, while I was studying the Bible in seminary, before I began to experience the same joy I had known when I had first given my life to him.
What brought me back to that place of vibrant, joyous life in Jesus Christ?
The Bible verse: "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
Christ overcoming in and through me
Before, I would read those words of Jesus Christ and say, "Yes, Lord, you've overcome the world. But you are there, and I am here. You have overcome the world, but I am certainly not overcoming the world. Where are you when I need you?"
I was terribly wrong when I said that to the Lord. That's not what the Bible teaches. What I didn't realize was that awesome, overcoming power of God was totally available to me from the day I first opened my heart to Jesus Christ, for "Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20).
"Christ lives in me" is only part of Galatians 2:20. The full verse reads: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
"I have been crucified with Christ." This means that on the day I received Christ, the old "me" that lived in rebellion against God died forever. The cross was the end of Satan's rule over my life. Jesus Christ's presence in me and in you—not our dedication—makes the Christian life thrilling, powerful and fully satisfying.
Now the new life I live is actually the life of Christ because Christ dwells in me. Jesus Christ is God. Everything that God is, Jesus Christ is. Everything that God has, Jesus Christ has. All those resources are available to you and to me. We just need to allow him to live his life through us for his purposes.
Yes, we do need to pray, read the Bible and serve others. But we can never do enough to be victorious over temptation, sin or suffering. We cannot earn these victories any more than we can earn our salvation.
Grasping the secret for yourself
What makes the difference? Perhaps it sounds too easy: focus your faith on the power of the resurrected Christ rather than on self-control. Rely on the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit rather than on grim determination to hang on during times of hardship or doubt.
"Christ lives in me." He's been living in me since I was twelve. How long has he been living in your life? One month? Fifteen years? You have all of Him! every spiritual blessing in Christ. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3).
My prayer is that you will allow Jesus Christ to live his overcoming life through you and experience his joy.
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