Have you ever tried entering a room you were already in? In a word, frustrating. Why would someone enter a room when they’re already in it? Sometimes I find myself wondering why I entered a room (which seems to happen more and more). It’s just frustrating.
I found myself in that situation Thursday morning during my quiet time, only it wasn’t a room, it was Christ. I was feeling a bit sluggish that morning. I didn’t feel very spiritual. I felt like I was just going through the motions. But then I read something that changed my mind … and my life.
As a Christian, I am already in Christ. So why was I trying to get into him? I know I’m in Christ, but I was getting frustrated that I was still trying.
Finally, I was in chapter 63, "In," of the book "Grace plus Nothing" by Jeff Harkin. Thank God for chapter 63.
I know that there is nothing I can do that can make God love me any more or any less. I should be been happy, really happy. That’s that way it should be for all Christians. But on Thursday morning, I wasn’t. At least at first. And I don’t think this is a problem that only I have. I think way too many Christians feel this way.
“In” is such a little word. But it has tremendous meaning, at least in the Bible. It’s used about 9,000 times. But I want us to concentrate on the term “in Christ.”
"In Christ" appears almost 90 times in the New Testament. And that doesn’t include into Christ, in Him, or other such variations.
Harkin wrote, “Yet many Christians get up in the morning, and without realizing what they are doing, they renew their struggle to get ‘in’ with God by having a quiet time – a type of performance. They do not seem to realize that they are already ‘in.’”
Then Harkin touched on how I was feeling. "Often they do not feel spiritual. They do not feel God’s presence. So they feel ‘out’! Yet they are not out, they are in.”
I wasn’t feeling spiritual. So what? The Bible says in Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
We aren’t in, then out, with Christ. If you want to have a good quiet time, I suggest turning to Ephesians 1 with a bright marker and begin highlighting terms like “in Christ,” “in him,” “in His sight,” and so on. But do it because you want to, not have to.
I’ll let Harken take it from there: "If you will take time to read Ephesians 1:3-14, you’ll discover that it is in Christ, in the Beloved, in Him, that you are seated in heavenly places; it is in Him that you are chosen; it is in Him that you are predestined to the adoption as a son or a daughter of God. It is in Him that you have redemption and the forgiveness of sins. It is in Him that you have an inheritance with the rest of the saints. And it is in Him that you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise.
“If you have been born in, you must quit striving to get in!”
We’re already there.
Rick Reed is a columnist for the Daily Commercial. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.