By Virginia Brandt Berg
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me,
All His wonderful passion and purity.
Oh, Thy Spirit divine, all my nature refine,
Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.
I was traveling over a very rough road, oh so bumpy, and we began to talk about the roads as they were many years ago when we traveled cross-country and there weren’t the fine highways there are today. Such bumpy roads! We just went from one rut to another in those days.
At this particular time we were [traveling] toward a little town where a friend lived where we were to spend the night. We couldn’t find our way and had stopped to ask directions. A farmer had given us the strangest directions and we missed the way. Again we found another one when we came to the next farmhouse. But he gave us those directions that we get sometimes:
“You go a little way this way to the right, and then turn left at the barn, and then you go just straight for a while till you come to a hill, and go up the hill, and then circle back for a ‘stone’s throw.’ And then turn left and go for a ‘stone’s throw’ again.” And he talked about a hill and a gray barn.
Well, there were a number of gray barns and there were a few hills, and a stone’s throw can mean a lot of things, and so again we missed the way. We traveled on for quite a little while, and then we found a very intelligent farmer. He was so kind, and we stopped to ask him the direction again.
He said, “You know, it would be very difficult to tell you in this part of the country, and some of the roads are not so good. Would it please you if I got in and just showed you the way?” We were so glad!
So he got in, sat down beside us, and then he would say [to] turn this way and turn that way, and so on. What a comfort it was. What a blessing.
It was a relief, we felt, as we just sat back and rested and let him guide us. And I thought how wonderful that that is the victory in the Christian life.
So many people say, “Why is it that some people claim to be Christians, yet they are not living the Christian life?” Well, it can never be lived in your own effort and in your own strength and by your own willpower.
God has a secret, and that secret is that Christ must come in and He must sit in the throne of your heart and tell you what to do and what not to do. He takes His place there and guides you from within.
The Christian life is just the life of another person lived through you, and that person is Jesus Christ. Now Paul tells about it in Colossians 1, that it’s a “mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory!” (Colossians 1:26–27) He said the secret of it all is Christ in you. And that’s so true. We just do the yielding, we do the complete surrendering, and then He does the rest. He does the living of His life through you.
I had a preacher friend who had been preaching some years, and he said, “I’ll never forget the day it dawned on me that this indeed was a mystery, indeed a wonderful mystery! And it was revealed to me that it was Christ in me, that Christ really came in and lived out His life through me.”
Paul says in another place, Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” It’s not I, but Christ that liveth in me.
In another place Jesus said, “I have been with you but I shall be in you.” This surrendering, just yielding to Him and letting Him live out His life, reminds me of the story of the little girl, only five and a half years of age, who was telling at a testimony meeting how she got saved and how Jesus had come in her heart to live.
And the hair-splitting old elder, who just couldn’t think of a child like that knowing what she was talking about, came down front and said, “How do you know you’re saved?” And she said, “Well, I know that I asked Jesus to come in my heart and He did come in my heart.”
“How do you know?”
“Well, I know He’s there because He talks to me, and I know, I can feel Him there.”
So then the old elder thought he’d surely catch her with this, and he said, “Well, what would you do if Satan came to your heart to tempt you?”
“Why,” she said, “I would just send Jesus to the door! I wouldn’t do anything. I’d send Jesus to the door, and when Satan saw who lived there he’d say, ‘Excuse me, sir. I came to the wrong house.’”
The old elder turned away, very quietly this time; he had nothing more to say.
How true! When Christ comes into the heart to live, He’s living out His life through you, with you completely surrendering to Him. God’s Word tells us that it’s Christ in us, the hope of glory. He lives in you; let Him have His way! He’s still on the throne and He can be on the throne in your heart, and will change things.
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