HOW TO LIVE THE CHRISTLIFE.
Man can not naturally live the Christ-life. But Christ has promised to
come into our hearts and live in us. In order that we may have Christ
dwell in our hearts and that we may live his life, there must be a giving
up of our self-life. There must be annihilation of self that Christ may
live. It is truly wonderful and as glorious as it is wonderful that man
can live the life of Christ in this world. But here is the secret: it is
man ceasing to live the self-life and Christ living in him.
Imagine a hollow brass figure in the exact image of a man. Suppose you
fill this hollow figure with a kind of life which we shall call self-life.
This life goes to using the hands and feet, and eyes, ears, tongue, in
short, all the members of this brass figure, but using them in the
interest of itself. Now you desire to make a change; you want that image
to speak, act, and think only for you. You must first put to death the
life that is using the figure, cleanse it entirely out, and then get into
it yourself. Once in, you can use all the members of that image for
yourself. Your body is that image. There was a life in you that used all
the members of your body in the interest of self. But there has been a
change. You were made a new creature. The life you once had was put to
death--was crucified; then Christ stepped into your heart, and now he
uses all the members of your body for himself. You still live, yet not
you, but Christ lives in you. Once you did things for yourself; now you do
them for Christ. Just as you once lived purposely and intentionally for
yourself, now you do things purposely and intentionally for Jesus, because
it is he that lives, and not you yourself. You remember how once you would
plan for yourself. In the evening as you lay upon your bed and again in
the morning and throughout the day you would think about what you were
going to eat or drink, what you were going to have for clothing, where you
were going to live, where you were going to go, and what you were going to
do. But now you are changed; you are a new creature. Now it is not you
that lives, but Christ lives in you. Now you eat not for yourself but for
Jesus. You now go, not where self would lead you, but where that life in
you loves to go and would have you go. You do things, not for yourself,
but for Jesus.
O Christ, I die, that thou mayst live,
That thou mayst live in me;
That all I think or speak or do,
May be, O Lord, for thee.
May not the least of self remain,
But all be put to death.
Oh, may I nothing do for self,
Nor draw one selfish breath!
To have my Savior live in me,
To occupy the whole,
To make my heart his royal throne
And take complete control--
'Tis all I ask; 'tis all I wish;
'Tis all my heart's desire,
Content if but a wayside bush
To hold God's holy fire.
Low at thy feet, O Christ, I fall
A yielded lump of clay,
For thee to mold me as thou wilt,
To have thy own sweet way.