Thursday, 15 September 2011

not I but Christ; not us but the prayers! - one meaningful thing I did today (30-day challenge)

The title is pretty self-explanatory, but just to have a certain background against which the title may "shine out"... we human beings are amazing "creatures" - always developing, accumulating information and knowledge, growing, etc. We learn to walk and to speak(as babies), we learn to read, write, exercise, have performances in the classes we're interested in, etc. We are being trained to be "better people" our whole life. We go to kindergarten, grammar school, high school, university, post-grad, Ph. D, post-doc... all these things we do to be trained to know, to know how to do things, to invent, to be someone...

Sometime during our life the Lord Jesus, the Immense Magnet in the universe, attracts us to Himself and captivates our attention - we believe into Him and are captivated by His charming beauty(Heb 12:2 + note). When we are regenerated, something interesting happens - we receive another life, even another Person into us! Until now we decided to do, say, be things - but now there's another Person, Jesus Christ, living in us! He is "bothering us" and "speaking to us", giving us life and peace - or giving us the sense of death / uneasiness / unpleasantness when we are in some places or do some things that the Lord doesn't like! We who used to do "whatever we want" now listen more and more to this Wonderful One within us.... - and this brings me to,

Not I But Christ; Not Us But The Prayers! - One Meaningful Thing I Did Today

As believers in Christ we daily learn that if we turn to the Lord within, if we exercise our spirit, we get more LIFE and we become more like Him! So we choose to turn... There's conflicts between us and the Lord - we hold our ground, choose things according to our pleasure and preference... loose the Lord's presence - then return to Him and repent + confess... fail again, make mistakes + return to Him... until there's a choice to be made - just like Paul said in Gal. 2:20,
I am crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who lives, but it is Christ who lives in me! And the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
More and more in our daily life and in our experience we have this deeper realization - Lord, no longer I but Christ! I want to enjoy You and experience You to such an extent that the old self is crucified, even my person without Christ is on the cross, and Christ is the One who lives in me! Christ organically replaces me to live in me! But it is still I who live - Christ is NOT "using me as a mindless robot to do His will" - NO! I still live - I live in faith, in the organic union with the Lord! This faith is not of me - it is of the Son of God, who loved me and just gave Himself up for me!

The Lord will get us to the point where we realize that IT IS STILL I WHO LIVES - though we love the Lord, we love the Word, we love spending time with the Lord, it is still Stefan who lives, not Christ! When the Lord shows us this, we desperately pray and give ourselves to Him, and we learn to give Him more ground in us, allowing Him to make His home in our hearts... - until little by little, it is "some of me and some of Him", "less of me and more of Him", "none of me and all of Him". Christ WILL be formed in us; Christ WILL live in us, and Christ WILL be fully expressed through us - today we are learning to cooperate with Him in this....

On the other hand, in working for the Lord, coordinating in the church life, serving the Lord in different practical services, helping with the children of the young people, serving with the students, etc - in all that we do for the Lord, He wants us to FIRST PRAY. The younger we are in the Lord, the more full of natural strength we are to do things for Him. More and more though, as time goes by and the Lord is faithful to speak to us and expose us, our natural strength and natural capacity - in His mercy - is running out and is being exposed to the uttermost as being useless to Him! And then we come to the conclusion, I CANNOT DO THIS, I CAN'T SERVE THE LORD!

This is going from one extreme to the other - from "I can do this - bring it on!" to, "I can't do it, I give up!". What the Lord wants us to realize is that yes, we can do it, and no, we can't do it! First of all, we need to PRAY! Before we do or speak anything for the Lord, we need to pray. Why do we try to work so much(and yet accomplish so little) when we can accomplish much more by our prayer than by our working!?! What are we trying to DO FOR THE LORD? He is Almighty, He can do everything - what can we do for Him? It is an insult to the Lord to try to do something for Him without first consulting Him and praying to be one with Him....

When David in the Old Testament wanted to build God a house, God told him that He wants to rather build Himself into David first and then what comes out of David(Solomon) will build a house for God. First of all, we need to be thoroughly mingled with God by praying ourselves into God. And then, once we are in God, one with God, we can do something for God - and this is actually God doing something in us and through us. So then it is No Longer Us, but the Prayers! We pray ourselves into God, we pray God's prayers which are put in us, and we pray out God's will to be Done! We execute God's will on earth by uttering the prayers that He need to move on earth! Wow...

<< the above is just something I realized today while I was doing my job at work (and I realized that it is STILL STEFAN WHO LIVES, NOT CHRIST) and as I was walking home after the home meeting (and I realized that IT IS SO MUCH OF ME TRYING and not so much of praying...). So today I want to choose the Lord - to be infused with Him and mingled with Him to the point that it is Christ living in me! Also, why try to do so many things - which things, by the way, need to be taken care of - when you can call a brother and pray together to be built up into the Triune God and be mingled with Him!?! >>
This article may be one of the last ones on this theme - on this challenge - since I have to "change the challenge", the 30-day period is almost up now... What do go for next? On the one hand I have been encouraged by all the testimonies and sharings and comments of all the readers - either here or on twitter or via facebook - to go on... But I think I want to go for something a bit different but on the same topic kindda... What about... "One London Picture (with description) + One Verse I enjoyed today(with a short sharing)"? - I am eagerly waiting for your comments on this matter - I want your opinion / feeling on this(that is, if you have read the entire article until down here)!


  1. Amen! The Lord is working in our life and living to make us realise that it is not us who can make it but it's Christ who lives in us that overcomes every situation. May the Lord continue to anoint us and keep us in His presence everyday.

    Regarding the next challenge, as this is the new academic year, how about contact one person a day (either speak, call, have appointment etc to a brother, student/young person or new one etc.) I supposed you can then share what you enjoy in the blog with any other challenge...

  2. This reminds me of something I quoted on a few months ago: "Don't think you can, and don't think you can't" (the context is that of living a living and active Christian life).

    We do go from one extreme to another - I experience this frequently! - but we are learning to be balanced, regulated, adjusted, recalibrated, transformed and conformed to the image of Christ, the perfectly fine and balanced One. Thank You Lord.

    And as for your next "challenge" - I'd say it could be almost anything, but keep it experiential and practical - that's been the key ingredient here so far!


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