"For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God." Colossians 3:3....."There is a difference between following Jesus and being in Christ. There is no question about the need for us to see Jesus as a model and to seek to follow Him, to be like, to do what He would do.....Perhaps this is the real reason why...there are so many strained faces and weary hearts and captive, unreleased spirits....The great example has been a dead weight, beating them down......The uniqueness of the Christian faith is at another point. That point is in the experience of being in Christ, of having our lives hid with Christ in God. Jesus is not only the example we follow, He is the enabler of a new quality of life." Maxie Dunnam


Corrie Ten Boom the heroic Dutch woman and concentration camp survivor, told of an experience she had after one of her meetings, when she had emphasized the need for us to forgive. Right after the message, she was approached by a man who she immediately recognized as the SS guard who presided over the gas chamber at the camp. He came up to her and said to her, "How grateful I am for your message. To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away." He extended his hand in order to take hers. She could not take it. She realized that all she felt was anger and a desire for revenge against the man who played a role in the murder of her sister in the camp. She said, "I tried to smile. I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing. Not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. So..I breathed a silent prayer. 'Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness.' As I took his hand, a most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me. So I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness anymore than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself."


How many have sought to live the Christ life without Christ? How many have sought to follow His leading, obey His commands, and wholeheartedly at that, but have only found themselves, as Dunnam says, with strained faces, weary hearts, and captive spirits? We try to live a life of power without the power of His life. We place the emphasis on ourselves and our effort, and not upon Him as our enabler, our resource. Ultimately, we fail, no matter how hard we've been trying. We've been living under Christian law instead of in Christ centered power. When we come to the place that Corrie Ten Boom did, when we must display the grace we say we live in, we can't. We can't forgive. We can't extend mercy. We can't walk through the fire. We can't overcome our giants. We can't live in the victory. We are overwhelmed by the impossibility of it all. Jesus would have us be overwhelmed by His life. So few of us are.

To truly come to Christ and be His is to be hidden in Him. This is our spiritual position, but it rarely seems to play out as our spiritual reality. To be hidden in Him is to live our lives out in the fullness of His power and life. Then, when we come up against what is impossible for our flesh to do, as it was for Ten Boom, it is His life, His love, forgiveness, mercy and power, that enables us to do, to live the impossible. Only then can we "walk and not grow weary, run and not grow faint." 

If you have truly given your heart and life to Him, than you are hidden in Him. Is your life, my life, reflecting that? We are either crushed by the impossible, or living an impossible life. Which is ours? Which will be ours?

Pastor O

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   May 2019   
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