It’s not just me, it’s Christ in me

  • Jeff Crotts
Sunny dirt trail in the woods

This past Sunday I addressed the issue of personal capacity and how easy it is to find yourself in a state of burnout when you try to live the Christian life on your own reserves. To face all that life throws your way, you need to operate from the inside out, not outside in. In other words, living your life by Christ’s power rather than your power. Trusting “Christ in you” rather than trusting the “you” in yourself. The difference is simply where you find your strength. Easier said than done right? 

A gentleman from our church told me that he recently went on an elevated hike to ruminate on the sermon. Walking out in the wilderness with his dogs, he found himself an hour in and suddenly weathered in and snow and cold came strong, bringing him to a tipping point to either safely backtrack out or move forward. Within minutes he was in a white-out where all topography was indistinguishable. In tennis shoes, this promised to be a four-plus hour event of concentration to trek out. The man described his mindset as one of trust. No panic just focused on the next step and not stopping. Stopping was not an option, only moving forward, only persevering, only enduring. Christ’s sufficiency provides the way forward as we take one more step. This man had to rely on the Lord to see him through the fog when he couldn’t see. His steps were guided by the Lord. 

As we take one more step here in Alaska, we are going into 6 months of a dark, cold winter. People who wish they weren’t, say, “I hope I can make it through winter!” As if to say that they are all alone in the dark. As Christians, we know that’s not true. Even sunny, Southern Californians are not exempt from falling prey to a destructive mindset with crime, high taxes, smog, traffic, and droughts. Likewise, God’s providence to help is wherever someone is, and man’s sin nature is likewise there too. The only comfort is to trust in the sufficient Savior to give us the grace we need to endure. It is important to recognize that this all begins with your mindset. Whether or not your thinking is calibrated according to God’s Word or by the world. Every true Christian has the mind of Christ (cf. 1 Cor. 2:16) and this practically means we trust God’s Word by the Holy Spirit’s enablement. I always enjoyed this quote from Spurgeon. It was portrayed online with this citation: (Excerpt taken from Blog: 

In fifty-seven years, Charles Spurgeon accomplished three lifetimes of work. Every week he preached four to ten times, read six meaty books, revised sermons for publication, lectured, edited a monthly magazine.

In his spare time, he wrote about 150 books. Spurgeon shepherded the largest Protestant megachurch in the world (he knew all 6,000 members by name), directed a theological college, ran an orphanage, and oversaw sixty-six Christian charities. Spurgeon was also a father and husband. He never sacrificed his family on the altar of ministry. David Livingstone, the missionary to Africa, once asked Spurgeon, “How can you accomplish so much in one day?”

You forget, Mr. Livingstone,” Spurgeon replied, “there are two of us working.”               

Spurgeon knew what it meant to abide with Christ. The Bible affirms that Christ is our sufficiency and provides a reservoir for us to pull from that allows us to do all hard things. 

I have listed 19 scriptural applications for what it means to operate by Christ’s sufficient power. I hope they are a comfort and reminder for you to abide in Him. 

Operating from the inside-out means you have the capacity……….. 

  1. To endure 
  • But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Mat 24:13 ESV) 
  • Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb 12:1-2 ESV) 
  • The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Rev 3:21 ESV) 
  1. To rejoice, pray, give thanks 
  • Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1Th 5:16-18 ESV) 
  • Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phi 4:4-7 ESV) 
  1. To grow 
  • And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Co 3:18 ESV) 
  • And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Phi 1:6 ESV) 
  • So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation–(1Pe 2:1-2 ESV) 
  • But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Pe 3:18 ESV)
  1. To serve 
  • Whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies–in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1Pe 4:11 ESV) 
  1. To fight, run, box, wrestle, contend 
  • Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1Co 9:24-27 ESV) 
  • Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1Tim 6:12 ESV
  • Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3 ESV)

 To suffer 

  • James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. (Jam 1:1-3 ESV) 
  • For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. (1Pe 2:21-23 ESV) 
  1. To obey 
  • Through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, (Rom 1:5 ESV) 
  • For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son whom he receives.” 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. (Heb 12:6-8 ESV) 
  1. To love 
  • And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Rom 5:5 ESV)
  • If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. (1Co 13:1-8 ESV) 
  1. To study 
  • Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3 ESV) 
  • Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. (Psalm 119:97 ESV) 
  • Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Tim 2:15 ESV) 
  1. To teach 
  • Whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies–in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1Pe 4:11 ESV) 
  1. To preach 
  • I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. (2 Ti 4:1-2 ESV) 
  1. To bear fruit 
  • But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Gal 5:22-26 ESV) 
  1. To give 
  • For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father,15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith–that you, being rooted and grounded in love,18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph 3:14-19 ESV) 
  • And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only.16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Phi 4:15-20 ESV) 
  1. To glorify 
  • So, whether you eat or drink, or whateveryou do, do all to the glory of God. (1Co 10:31 ESV) 
  1. To sing 
  • And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Eph 5:19-21 ESV) 
  1. To be holy 
  • Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,(Phil 2:12 ESV) 
  • Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1Pe 1:13-16 ESV) 
  1. To restore, bear 
  • Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Gal 6:1-2 ESV) 
  1. To witness and defend 
  • And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”(Mat 28:18-20 ESV) 
  • Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Col 4:6 ESV) 
  • But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, (1 Pe 3:14-15 ESV) 
  1. To gather for church 
  • And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Heb 10:24-25 ESV) 

This is a healthy sample of Scripture, but I listed these verses to make the case for how a baseline Christian life is to be lived. This is what it looks like to live, “Christ-like” in your capacities. Your goal is not to be as busy as Spurgeon, but simply to know that Christ is in you, and you can continue on your path with Christ abiding in you and working through you.