To become what we can’t be on our own

Joey Crandall

Joey Crandall

“...that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” – Ephesians 3:17a

These words come in the midst of a prayer, right at the heart of a letter speaking the truths of God’s power at work within the heart of a believer.

The word “dwell” in the Greek manuscripts of scripture translates to the idea of “housing permanently,” or “taking up permanent residence.”

And in the idea communicated in Ephesians, it is giving Jesus Christ free reign – giving Him the deed to the life He has already paid for, and allowing it to be His.

The word speaks of Him being at home in the believer.

It is an ever-deepening dwelling, where He occupies more and more of the life given over to Him the more time goes on.

Think of it in your own home: You move things around. You clean out closets. You paint, and you remodel and you redecorate. Increasingly, the place becomes more yours over time. It takes on more of your character and your personality.

And, why not?

You either signed for the deed, or the rental agreement, and those signatures give you rights of residence within that property.

That’s what we read of here: Not simply a permanence, but an ever-deepening ownership. It is giving the Lord Jesus the architect’s pen and a sledgehammer, and giving Him free reign to do as He pleases in your life.

The longer one walks with HIm, the more He changes us – moves things around and cleans things up, and remodels and overhauls how we think and how we react and how we respond, both to Him and to those around us.

People begin to see – “Hey, something is happening there! It’s different – you’re different – than you were before.”

His presence, His grace, His love, His power, His victory, even His sufferings (perhaps especially so) at work within a life are unmistakable.

It becomes apparent, “Hey, Jesus lives here.”

This is the walk of a Christian – to live submitted and surrendered to Jesus Christ, allowing Him to live who He is, and allowing Him to live everything He is capable of, through your life.

It is encountering Him, turning to His Word, daily – even moment by moment – running to Him when there are no answers. Running to Him when there are too many answers.

It is running to Him because He is the answer.

It is the essence of humility: Surrendering self unto a selfless Savior, whose grace, as 2 Corinthians 12:9 states, is sufficient for you, and whose strength is made perfect in weakness.

When you’re thoughts start running away from you, or when they flat out run you over –

When the temptations creep in –

When your temper starts to unravel –

When your pains and your hurts and your worries and your fears start spiraling you into anxiety and self-pity – return to the basic, beautiful truth that the Savior of your soul – with every bit of His power and perfection and presence – desires to take up permanent residence within you. To drive out whatever is not of Him, and to become within us what we cannot even hope to be on our own.

Joey Crandall is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Carson Valley.


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