Christ Within or Christ Without?

It has been one of “those” weeks—busy, hectic, long lists of things to do. Basically harried and rushed. It is easy to lose one’s grounding during busy times. How do we stay connected to Source and live life in the Spirit while still accomplishing our work here on earth? Most of us don’t live a cloistered life devoted exclusively to prayer and contemplation. We have the challenge of walking between two worlds, the world of Spirit and the world of hustle and bustle.

When I look around for examples of edge walkers—people navigating the line between the two worlds of Spirit and service—the life of Christ stands out as a master example of staying connected to the Spirit while engaging and ministering here on earth. He lived from the level of Spirit and his life was one of ministry and love in service to others.

The Bible records many instances where He would spend the night in prayer, or take His disciples away for a short time to spend quiet time with God. His life is an example of being continually filled and connected with God. His life, death, and resurrection built a bridge that we can travel on to experience a relationship with God that is similar. He prepared the way, built the bridge, and supplies the power that enables us to have Him living in our hearts and to be of service to the world in the same way that He did.

This is what having an indwelling Christ is all about. “Christ in you, the hope of glory” is what Paul talks about in Colossians, and it is the secret to Gnosis—wisdom. Paul goes on to say that in Him (Christ) are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. If we want to walk between worlds, if we want to experience the true power and joy that come from being a Christian, we will find it only when we have the same indwelling Spirit in our hearts.

It is easy to give a peripheral consent to this. You can assume that you have done this. But membership in a church, acceptance of the gospel, and even Bible study does not mean that you have actually submitted your ego to the power of Christ living in you. We can give assent to all of these things, but not actually submit to a Higher Power living in us and controlling us.

For the most part our ego likes to stay in control. When our ego learns to become a servant of the Spirit, we are then learning to have the Spirit call the shots in our life. Our ego still exists but it is now no longer in charge. We have allowed the Christ power to be in charge instead.

This is a major transition from having a God that lives outside of you to having a God that lives within you. Many people are not comfortable with this transition. There is a lot of fear of losing control—it is fine to be a Christian as long as you are still in charge. Paul helps us to understand the difference of a God without or a God within by suggesting that Christians become slaves to righteous living instead of to self.

In essence, we are all slaves to our ego. Letting the Christ power live within you is exchanging one type of power—ego—for another type of Higher Power—the Christ within. When you realize that your choice is between two different types of “slavery” it is much easier to consent to the Spirit of Love living in your heart and making your ego a “slave” to the Spirit versus having it be the master.

In other words, our spirit/soul submits to Spirit and becomes our master, our ego the servant. The Christ power supplies the energy and power to ignite us and make us effective lightworkers in the world. We can still serve at an ego level, but our service will always be colored and controlled by ego interests. Submitting to the Spirit allows us to serve for the greater group good instead of just our own good.

To me the path of Spirit is the more compelling path. My ego is a taskmaster with many demands and needs. The Spirit’s control is like a spring, bubbling up in my heart with peace, love, joy, and hope. It is the living water that restores and refreshes. It satisfies a thirst that my ego can never satisfy. The scriptures invite us to “taste and see, that the Lord is good.” Very good!


Angelus said…
I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog! I totally agree with you concerning the ego, and thanks for addressing the topic. It's good to find someone of like mind. I'll link to this blog, as I plan to check back to see what other goodies you have to expand on. peace be yours...