So jumping back to the first question: what does it mean to remain in Him? Somehow, our lives and His essence are joined. My very being, my existence is intertwined with His. My purpose, my identity, my... me, is one with Christ. The circumstances of my life are perceived in the context of this relationship with Him. It is my very life.
“I think and therefore I am” is a quote attributed to Rene' Descartes, a French philosopher, mathematician and physicist. Descartes exposed a fundamental truth about living, something completely personal, inward-looking and undeniably real: with life, there is an awareness of existence. The mere fact that I know I'm alive, proves beyond doubt that I am a being who exists. You see, this awareness... this heart-felt understanding that “I am aware” proves that I am alive. Am I aware of my environment? Am I aware of pleasure? Am I aware of pain? It's this awareness that makes my existence irrefutable. But there's a deeper, newer awareness that comes when we are in relationship with Christ. It testifies to a life in us that is more real than the life than we can have on our own.
Watchman Nee, a Chinese Christian church leader and author, also wrote about awareness as it relates to life. He observed that when we become a Christian, when we place our trust in the power of Christ to reconcile us to the Creator Father, a new awareness becomes a part of us. He writes about this deeper life:
Now by the same token, the life which God has given to the Christian believer can likewise be known by its consciousness. Although we cannot take hold of such divine life and show it to ourselves or to other people, we nonetheless know we have this new life because there is within us an altogether new consciousness.... How does he know he has the life of God?... If the life of God is in him, the consciousness of that life must be in him as well... He feels restless when he sins. He immediately senses a veil between him and God after he has sinned and instantly loses his inner joy. Such manifestations as these are facets of life's consciousness, for because the life of God hates sin, therefore a person who has God's life must also have a certain feeling against sin. The very fact of his possessing this life's sense proves he possesses such life."The Body of Christ: A Reality", Watchman Nee (Chapter 1, emphasis added)
There is new Awareness that enters our soul, an Awareness that gently molds us into the people we were created to be. This new consciousness is both undeniable and deeply personal, challenging our thoughts and attitudes, prompting changes in our actions and ultimately bringing restoration into our lives as well as to the world around us. As a result, we are a peculiar people, a special people, who have been remade and are being remade into Christ's image.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (New American Standard Bible)
Next: Abiding in Christ - Renewed by the Vine
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