Christ in You; May 21, 2019

Colossians 1:27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

I have heard the last phrase of this verse quoted many times over the years, but I’m not sure even theologians understand it, because it is far above and beyond human logic and understanding. To grasp it, we have to receive direct revelation from God, which is why it is such a mystery. This is different qualitatively from the fact that God is infinite, and so is everywhere and in everything. People who focus on that aspect tend to go all New Age and even animistic, and that certainly doesn’t agree with the Bible. This is what Jesus talked about repeatedly in the Upper Room Discourse and Pastoral Prayer, (John 13-17) which is in defiance of human physics and mathematics and several other disciplines. “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:20-21) That explicitly includes us, yet it defies human logic. How can we be in the Godhead and the Godhead in us? That’s why Paul calls it a mystery, and why it is so glorious. We don’t yet experience it in fullness, which is why it is the hope of glory, but the tastes we get are utterly magnificent, even if we lack words to express them to others.

I have had a few tastes of this, and I have gotten some pretty blank stares when I’ve tried to tell people about them. I’ve had moments in worship when I was more sure that God was real than that I was real, for example, and I’ve also experienced such intense joy that I thought my physical body might give up and die so that I would go directly to heaven. I’ve read that hallucinogenic mushrooms and drugs like LSD can have similar effects, but those are counterfeit. Even so, I can understand how people could become emotionally addicted to them, wanting more of the experience. I certainly want more of God! This is not something I can make happen even in myself, much less for someone else, but knowing that God desires that sort of a relationship with us is a driving force in my life. “Eternal life” can seem like an abstract idea, but what I have tasted is the opposite of abstract. I want the reality of Christ in me, for me and for everyone else. It is for this that we are saved.

Father, it’s interesting but not accidental to be reminded of this when Cathy is going through so much physically. Thank You that we aren’t defined by the physical. I pray that You would speak this to her spirit, soul, and body right now, filling her with Your peace, so that she may await with joy the manifestation of Your best for her, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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