TAKING CHRIST AS YOUR ALL
". . . a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all."
God's purpose is that His Christ would become the All in all. That He would become the All in you, and the All in me. That He would become the All in all of us! His goal is that Christ would fill all things with Himself. That all things would be filled to overflowing with Him in heaven and earth: in every place and in every way.
It's difficult to fathom this, but He is gong to accomplish this great task by Christ becoming the All in you and in me. He wants to be completely formed within you; a form that is full and mature. He wants to become your Everything and He wants to become everything to you.
We Are Missing the Mark
Now the problem is that we are falling short of God's purpose because our minds are "off-center." We need a thought "adjustment" that can only come through the revelation of the Holy Spirit. I will now just say it as plainly and directly as I can. We are not a Christ centered people. I hope to prove this to you in this little article. Please open your mind and your spirit to allow Him to speak to you on this matter. It is of critical importance.
We are not a people who have taken Christ as our All. In fact, we do not even know how to think in those terms, let alone live on those terms. Simply put, Christ is not the Center of our universe; we are the center of our universe. Even our relationship to Christ centers around us and our needs. Please let me explain.
To You or For You?
"And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all."
Paul tells us in this passage that the Father gave Christ as head over all things to the church. My question to you is this; is He all things to you or is He all things for you? The difference is monumental. In these two little words; to and for, stand the difference between you fulfilling God's purpose or you fulfilling your own purposes. I propose to you that most of us view Christ as everything for us instead of everything to us. Let me explain the difference.
You can usually find out where a person stands just by listening to them talk for a few minutes. What do they talk about? Who do they talk about? When listening to most Christians talk, these are the things that I usually hear; everything they say about the Lord relates to themselves, in other words, what He has done for them. And these are always things about what the Lord does, not about the Lord Himself. For example, they will talk about the second coming of Christ. This usually involves the mark of the beast, tribulation, the rapture, etc. This is all about an event, not about Christ Himself. This is all about an event that relates to them and is for them. Jesus is going to come to take me away. Another favorite subject is miracles and healing. Obviously, these are subjects that once again have to do with Christ doing something for us. We love to talk about all that God has done or is now doing for us. But Paul said that God has given us Christ as head over all things to the church!
I'm not saying that it's wrong for us to ever share what God has done for us. However, we must ask ourselves; is that all there is? Is that where we live? Is that our center? Christ is many things for you, but what is He to you? Contrary to popular belief, Jesus Christ does not exist for us! He lives and breathes to please and glorify the Father. He lives to fulfill God's purpose.
How Big is Your Christ?
When you first turned to Christ you took Him as your Savior. Isn't it odd how we take Him as our Savior but we do not take Him as our Salvation? Rather, the way that it is presented to us (by preachers) is that He is the Savior, but He gives us this "thing" called salvation. So we receive Him as the Giver, but not as the gift. Salvation is something that is separate from the Savior that He gives to us, for us. Now, since He has given us this thing called salvation, we own it. It is now something which we possess just as if I gave you a present for your birthday. Do you see how everything becomes twisted to be about us? Christ doesn't give you salvation. He is Salvation! You must receive Him as your Salvation.
"But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption . . ."
I Cor. 1:30
This is just one example of how we make it all about us. Of course, there is nothing new about this. When the Lord walked this earth as a man, we can clearly see this same tendency in those who were around Him. They wanted Him to give them bread instead of taking Him as their Bread. They wanted Him to raise Lazarus from the dead instead of taking Him as their Resurrection. They loved it when He changed the water into wine but really weren't that interested when He presented Himself as the true Vine. The whole time that He was here on the earth He was trying to tell us that He was everything, that He was the All. But all people were interested in was receiving things from Him.
To fulfill His purpose you must learn to take Him as your All. This all begins by learning to "see" Him in all things.
Caught between a Rock and a Hard Place
". . . and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink; for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ."
I Cor. 10:2-4
Let me give you just one example of taking Christ as your All.
The children of Israel were in the desert and they were extremely thirsty. There was no river, stream, or lake; just sand and rocks. God told Moses to strike a rock with his staff and then water flowed out of the rock. This story has always fascinated me. First of all, why did God choose a rock from which to flow the water? Why not a tree, shrub, or out of the ground itself? Here they are in a desert, the hottest and driest of all places, and He causes the water to come out of a rock, the hardest, driest, most lifeless place in the desert. The water flowed out of a rock! And then Paul says something which is absolutely outrageous. That rock was Christ! Notice with me that he does not only tell us that the water was Christ (spiritual drink), but that the rock itself was also Christ! This is tremendous!
My dear brothers and sisters, do you sometimes find yourselves in a desert with nothing to drink? When you look around, what do you see? Do you see sand, and dry brush, and rocks? Or do you see Christ? To find Him, look for the driest and hardest place. Instead of looking for a way out of the desert, look for a rock! He is already there, where you are, but He is in the most unlikely place. He is in the driest and hardest place. In fact, He is the driest and hardest place! He is the rock!
Of course, we always look for the water first. By nature, we are people looking for a "quick fix." We are looking for an oasis with water just bubbling out of the ground. But the water is found inside of a rock! The water is found inside of the driest and hardest of all places - inside of solid rock. Take Him as your Rock. Take Him as your hard place. Don't try to just receive what the rock gives (the water), but receive the Rock Himself! See that hard place that you are in for what it is - Christ! Is it possible to turn rocks into diamonds? Yes. If you will take Christ as your Rock and drink the water of life from Him.