To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
A number of years ago, the Holy Spirit graciously revealed to me the beauty and grace that is the Indwelling Christ. After numerous attempts to live the Christian life successfully in my own strength, the Lord brought me to the end of my striving. Frustrated, angry, and depressed, God revealed to me His Son in me. I understood that Christian growth is just as much by faith as when I first believed Christ’s death and resurrection for my salvation. Edward Dennett, a Plymouth Brethren teacher from the 19th century, describes the life that is lived by faith in the power of the Indwelling Christ.
Christ in us, Christ our life, as set forth in Colossians, is to be followed by the display of Christ through us, in the power of the Holy Ghost. For this we need to be much in His company; for the more we are with Him and occupied with Him, the more we shall be transformed into His likeness, and more certainty will the savor of His good ointments be spread abroad. And this will be a mighty testimony to what He is; for in this case His name will, through us, be an ointment poured forth; the sweet savor of the name of Christ will flow forth from our walk as well as from our words.
Edward Dennett cited in His Victorious Indwelling, ed., Nick Harrison (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998), 212.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matt. 11:28 ESV
The Rest of God means experiencing by faith God’s adequacy and faithfulness in every life situation resulting in freedom from worry, anxiety, and care. This rest is not passivity, inactivity, or idleness. His rest is an encounter with the power of the Holy Spirit who lifts us up into an experience of the resurrected Jesus. It is Jesus who dispels our earthly fears and worldly burdens calming our hearts in the midst of life’s storms. New Testament rest is the peace of Christ, confidence in God’s covenant promise, and assurance in the Holy Spirit’s keeping power.
The more we rest in Him the more we are independent of everything outside of Him at such a time, the more vigor we really possess; and the better we get over the winter, be it ever so severe. If I am independent of the winter, it is evident that I have mastered it, and not it me; and if I have done so, through the strength of the Lord Jesus, I am relieved though in no human way. Peter is delivered from prison in a superhuman way; but first he, though enduring a very trying winter, could lay him down and sleep–take his rest, because the Lord sustained him.
J. B. Stoney, His Victorious Indwelling, ed., Nick Harrison (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998), 460.
Communing With God
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Abiding in Christ (or communing with God) is holding steady in the presence of Christ trusting his promises by faith irrespective of the challenges, trials, and tribulations of our lives. Remaining in faith and looking to Christ to be our sufficiency in the midst of our inadequacy keeps us in his constant, conscious presence. Only by abiding can our ministry efforts have an outcome that will last for eternity.
Communing [with God] is doing the right thing in the right moment in the right way. Once we get out of communion, we cannot get anything right.
Edward Dennett quoted in His Victorious Indwelling, ed., Nick Harrison (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998), 364.