How is a person controlled by Christ? It really is rather simple, but not easy as a human being. Exalting Christ in your life means to surrender yourself to the ways of God. Many though, hinder the Spirit of Christ within by relying on self instead of relying on Christ. It is so easy to get out of shape spiritually. All you have to do is decide–I can do this on my own.
Jesus is the Vine and we are simply the branches. The branch does not produce the fruit. Christ produces fruit in and through us. He enables us to be who we need to be in Christ. When you encounter a difficulty avoid saying and believing, “I’m going to have to tough this out, but I can handle it.” Handling something on your own will probably make a bigger mess than it was before you started. Discover and remember this truth about Christ living in you–Christ makes no mistakes. But, if you are not in tune with Him, your response to the situation will be led by your own flesh, your own self, your own wisdom, and your own thinking. This will put you in control. Gaining the Spirit’s self control is impossible unless you deny self and meet with Christ on a daily basis, which results in being controlled by Christ.
Jesus is your friend. You are valued by God. It cost God His only begotten Son to provide you an opportunity to pray and walk in the Spirit. Why in the world would you want to live any other way than to spend time with God’s Only Son?
To walk in the Spirit is not only difficult, it is absolutely impossible in your human strength. But to surrender yourself, that is another story. Christ wants to take authority in the area of life that you keep holding on to. If you keep holding on, Christ will let you. Christ will let you be as miserable as you want to be for as long as you want to be, but you don’t have to be. The fruit of the Spirit is available to you every moment of every single day. Christ is just waiting for you to relinquish self to His control.
You cannot live out the Christian lifestyle by living it in your own strength. Christ is not interested in you giving Him part of your life and reserving another section for yourself. You will either serve one master or the other.
Controlling your relationships, anger, a complaining spirit, lust, disobedience to parents, lying, an unforgiving Spirit, yelling, arguing, bitterness, pride, selfish ambition, is impossible in your own strength.
Yet, Christ died to save you from your sins. If there are areas of your life in which you seemingly never have the control of Christ’s Spirit, you never get victory over it, then humble yourself before God. Pray and seek His face and ask Him to deal with you concerning that area of life. As you encounter life, ask the Lord to help you be sensitive to any moment you step away from walking in His Spirit and begin walking in the flesh. Ask Him to help you recognize the departure and give you the desire to return to Him.
God, please put our spirits under Your control!
Copyright 2013. Adapted from the book, The Christian Life: A Human Impossibility