by Chip Brogden
"And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power
went out from Him and healed them all" (Luke 6:19).
"And now, little children, abide in Him" (I John 2:28a).
How do we touch the living Christ? The answer to this question depends
entirely upon our relationship to Jesus. If we are part of the multitude
then we must try and touch Him; but if we are one of His little children
then we may simply abide in Him.
The difference, dear friends, is the difference between a religion and a
relationship. The multitudes do not have a relationship with Jesus, and
so they must travel to where He is and work their way into His presence
in hopes of touching Him.
This is the way many church services operate. We go here and there
hoping to touch something of the power of God, or the presence of God.
Many times we do in fact touch something or receive something from the
Lord - not because of the meeting, but in spite of the meeting. Even so,
that touch does not last for very long. It is a touch, it is not the
Living Christ. Soon we begin checking the calendar for the next meeting,
gathering, conference, or church service so we can go back and get
another touch. This represents something lacking in our walk.
I have been in many meetings where the worship leaders spent a great
deal of time and energy trying to get people to "enter in" to worship or
"enter in" to the presence of God. I used to lead worship this way and
it can be very frustrating. Perhaps they enter in; perhaps they do not
enter in. Either way, this struggle to "enter in" only proves one thing:
neither the worship leaders nor the worshippers are abiding in Christ.
To abide in Him is to remain in Him. If we remain in Him we do not have
to enter in to Him over and over again. That would be like trying to get
into a room in which I am already sitting. Once we are in the room, and
we are seated, we do not have to try and enter in.
"He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and
he shall go out no more" (Revelation 3:12a). Overcomers do not go to
church to enter in to God; they do not require worship leaders to get
them in the mood; they do not follow the multitudes around hoping to get
a touch from the Lord. Overcomers are pillars in the Church that Jesus
is building. They are permanent fixtures in the temple and they do not
go out and in. They simply abide in Him.
I had the privilege last week of eating lunch with two pillars. The
younger brother was from Australia, and the older brother was from
England. When I say "older brother" I mean this gentleman was
ninety-four years old. Before we began eating we asked the English
brother to pray. Right there in the restaurant he cried out, "Heavenly
Father!" He said it so slowly and deliberately and loudly that I thought
his prayer would probably last thirty minutes or more. After a pause, he
quietly said, "Thank you." And we began to eat.
May I say that this brother spent no time entering in, because he was
already abiding. With two or three words he brought us before the throne
of God, and the very presence of Jesus was immediately manifest. This is
what it means to touch the living Christ - immediately, effortlessly.
How do we abide in Christ? "As you have therefore received Christ Jesus
the Lord, so walk in Him" (Colossians 2:6). Receiving Christ Jesus the
Lord is the Gate, while walking in Him is the Path. The first happens in
a moment, while the second is a daily process. How did we receive Christ
Jesus the Lord? We came to Him with all our sins, and weaknesses, and
needs, and we cast ourselves upon Him. We trusted in His Life, and His
Love, and His Grace, and His Mercy to save us. And so He did.
What is the next step? It is this: to walk in Him as you received Him.
"As you have received… so walk." We are not saved by Grace and then left
to live the Christian life in our own strength. Instead, we walk in Him
the same way we received Him - by Grace, through Faith, and that not of
ourselves. From start to finish it is the Gift of God.
I need Him as much today as I ever have. How about you? Apart from Him I
can do nothing. Is this your experience also, or do you still think
there are many things you can do without Him? I am still in need of His
Life, and Love, and Grace, and Mercy in order to live. Are you that much
different from me? I think not. We all approach Him the same way.
This understanding will naturally cause us to humble ourselves as little
children. I do not know, I cannot say. I only know what Daddy says and I
only see what Daddy does, and this is all I know. How do I know these
things? When I pray, when I read the Scriptures, when I spend time with
my brothers and sisters, when I just live life and keep my eyes open and
my mouth closed, then I begin to experience intimacy with God, and that
is when I begin to touch the living Christ - even though I know that
these activities by themselves are not Christ. They can lead me to Him,
and they can help me to abide in Him. Yet the goal is not the activity,
but the intimacy.
To touch the living Christ we must first believe that He is, in fact,
the living Christ. He is not dead. He is not a historical figure from
two thousand years ago. He is not a mystical presence dwelling somewhere
in the far reaches of the universe. He is not a system of theology or a
doctrinal statement. He is not something I enter in to when I go to
religious meetings, and something I leave when I go home. He is the
Living Lord Who lives in me now, Who lives through me now, Who is with
me everywhere I go.
This is not a complicated thing to understand, but our head tends to get
in the way of our heart. The exhortation to abide is for little
children, not grown-ups. Little children! There is a simplicity in
Christ that the multitudes cannot comprehend. We cannot wrap our brains
around it, we must immerse our hearts into it.
© 1997-2014 Chip Brogden
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