In or Out? – Where are you?

A Time for Action

In or Out - A Studio 1-37 Original Image

We are now officially in fall and the last few nights my weather has bordered on winter. Are you readying for cooler weather where you live? Like a squirrel making preparations, the cooling temperatures have spurred me to get a lot of repairs and cleaning up finished before the real cold weather comes. Since I lack the skill set to do much of this work, I find myself almost daily trying to find help. I have learned that it is often difficult to find tradespeople these days that are qualified and available to follow through on jobs. Are they committed to be in, out, or somewhere between?

It all sounds like the man that applied for a job as a handyman. The prospective employer asked, “Can you do carpentry?” The man replied, “No.” So the employer asked, “How about bricklaying?” Again, the man replied negatively. Then the employer asked the man if he was trained with electrical work? But once again the man replied that he was not skilled with electrical work either. Finally, and with frustration, the employer asked, “Well, please tell me exactly, what is handy about you?” The man replied, “I just live around the corner.”

We might not want a handyman without skills but there is something to be said for someone just willing to be there, take part, and be available. Because sometimes that might just be what is best about us, too. It might not be our skill set but that we are available and committed to being “in.” And so it is with beginning a life of discipleship with Christ. We have to be there and commit to being “in.”

Being “In Christ”

The Apostle Paul uses the expression, “in Christ Jesus.” over and over. It is through the little word “in” that we can understand who we are. Being a Christian becomes our identity, our self-image, and how we can understand our value to God. The phrase “in Christ” is said to be used 89 times throughout the New Testament and “in Him” is used 79 times. The followers of Christ during Biblical times were not referred to as Christians, but as people “in Christ.” Pastor Rick Warren says this directly points us to where we should find our identity as a follower of Jesus. In Christ, we can find out who we are and what we are living for. This is our purpose.

But we have to choose to be “in.” Many times we try to be both. We are “in” on Sunday but “out” on Monday through Saturday. That simply doesn’t work for there is no commitment. We can’t be “in” the world and “in” Christ at the same time. If we desire to know who we are and our purpose, we must commit to knowing our Creator. He is the only one who knows everything about us. He is willing to work with us at the place we are. We just have to show up and be available. God will do the work and gets us to the place we need to be to rest fully “within Him.”

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.

Philippians 2:13(NLT)

Explaining “In”

Being “In Christ” can be somewhat confusing and debated on exactly what the meaning is. However, Colin Urquhart’s book, In Christ Jesus, gives a good understanding of what “being in” means. He suggests that you write your name on a piece of paper. Take and hold your Bible allowing it to represent Christ. Place the paper with your name written on it within the Bible and close it. You are in Christ. Where the Bible goes you go. Where the paper goes, He goes. You are not part of the book, but you are identified with the book.

Committing to being “In Christ” is the joy of serving and it is through being “In Him” that we can shine brightly for the world. God will work within us if we will allow Him. He has not abandoned us with our struggles. He wants to come alongside us and be within us to help. It is through this that He gives us the ability and motivation to do what pleases Him. The secret to a changed life is to submit fully to God’s control and let Him do the work. By asking Him to help us do His will, we make ourselves available and commit to being “In Christ.”

How to be “In”

Through the acceptance of Christ, we gain the Holy Spirit. When we further our faith by seeking to change our desires to be more like Christ, we do so only through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is through training ourselves to think like Christ, we become more like Him. We can do this through prayer, surrounding ourselves with other faithful Christians, obedience; not just exposure to His Word, and sacrificial service to Him. It is most often that through doing God’s will that we gain the motivation to do it. As we strive to do what He wants, we can trust Him to change our desires.

Won’t you challenge yourself to be fully “In Christ” today? Find your convictions through the power of the Holy Spirit offered to you and within you. Allow your motivation to come from doing His will thus creating the desire to do more through Him. Surround yourself knowing that you don’t need any special skill set to be “In Christ” you simply must make yourself available.

Love through Christ,

E.J.

Postscript

Be in or out, there is no halfway!

Unknown

Extra Study

Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 12:6; Hebrews 13:21

What are Your Thoughts?

Are you “in” or “out?” Have you made yourself fully available to Christ to allow Him to work within you? Share your thoughts on the privilege of knowing who you are and your purpose by allowing Christ to work within you.

Join the Discussion

Credits

Warren, R. (2020, September 22). Daily Hope with Rick Warren. Retrieved from Pastor Rick: https://pastorrick.com/theres-only

How God is working through your life?