Octavius Winslow's Evening Thoughts for Daily Walking With God, August 23. GospelWeb.net

August 23

"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 1:27.

The believer in Jesus is a partaker of the Divine nature. He is "born of the Spirit;" Christ dwells in him by faith; and this constitutes his new and spiritual life. It is not so much that the believer lives, as that Christ lives in him. Thus the apostle expresses it: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me." Do we look at the history of Paul as illustrative of the doctrine? Behold the grand secret of his extraordinary life. He lived unreservedly for Christ; and the spring of it was, Christ lived spiritually in him. This it was that rendered him so profound in wisdom, rich in knowledge, bold in preaching, undaunted in zeal, unwearied in toil, patient in suffering, and successful in labor—Christ lived in him, and this forms the high and holy life of every child of God—"Christ who is our life." To Him, as the covenant head and mediator of His people, it was given to have life in Himself, that He might give eternal life to as many as the Father had given Him. Christ possesses this life, Christ communicates it, Christ sustains it, and Christ crowns it with eternal glory. A peculiar characteristic of the life of God in the soul is, that it is concealed. "Your life is hid with Christ in God." It is a hidden life. Its nature, its source, its actings, its supports, are veiled from the observation of men. "The world knows us not." It knew not Jesus when He dwelt in the flesh, else it would not have crucified the Lord of life and glory. Is it any wonder that it knows Him not, dwelling, still deeper veiled, in the hearts of His members? It crucified Christ in His own person, it has crucified Him in the people of His saints, and, if power were given, would so crucify Him yet again.

And yet there is that in the divine life of the believer which awakens the wonderment of a Christ-rejecting world. That the believer should be unknown, and yet well known—should die, and yet live—should be chastened, and yet not killed—sorrowful, yet always rejoicing—poor, yet making many rich—having nothing, and yet possessing all things—is indeed an enigma, a paradox to a carnal mind; yes, there are moments when the believer is a mystery to himself. How the divine life in his soul is sustained in the midst of so much that enfeebles, kept alive surrounded by so much that deadens, the glimmering spark not extinguished, though obscured, amid the billows—to drop all figure—how his soul advances when most opposed, soars when most hardened, rejoices when most afflicted, and sings the sweetest and the loudest when the cross presses the heaviest, and the thorn pierces the deepest, may well cause him to exclaim, "I am a wonder to others, but a greater wonder to myself!" But, if the nature and the supports of the divine life in the soul are hid, not so are its effects, and these prove its existence and reality. There is that in the honest, upright walk of a child of God which arrests the attention and awakens the surprise of men, who, while they hate and despise, cannot but admire and marvel at it.

Yet another characteristic of the divine life in the soul is its security. "Your life is hid with Christ in God." There, nothing can touch it: no power can destroy it. It is "hid with Christ," the beloved Son of the Father, the delight, the glory, the richest and most precious treasure of Jehovah: still more—it is "hid with Christ in God"—in the hand, in the heart, in the all-sufficiency, yes, in the eternity of God. Oh the perfect security of the spiritual life of the believer! No power on earth or in hell can move it. It may be stormed by Satan, assaulted by corruption, scorned by men, and even, in the moment of unbelief and in the hour of deep trial, its existence doubted by the believer himself; yet there it is, deep lodged in the eternity of God, bound up in the heart and with the existence of JEHOVAH, and no foe can destroy it. "I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." Let the sheep and the lambs of the "little flock" rejoice that the Shepherd lives, and that because He lives they shall live also.

August 23