Hidden With Christ In God

“We are not fundamentally free; external circumstances are not in our hands, they are in God’s hands, the one thing in which we are free is in our personal relationship to God. We are not responsible for the circumstances we are in, but we are responsible for the way we allow those circumstances to affect us; we can either allow them to get on top of us, or we can allow them to transform us into what God wants us to be.” Oswald Chambers, Conformed to His Image

What does John Gill’s statement about liberty through the Gospel promise that you and I may not presently be experiencing? Freedom from blindness and darkness? Freedom from the bondage of sin, or captivity of some kind?

When I posted the song “Need You Now, I did not do so for myself (sometimes I put a song out there that I really need at the time). There was something about the song that spoke to me, but mostly I thought it might bless someone else who was struggling to find victory in their life. As soon as I posted that evening I began to listen to the song and weep, not understanding why.

It wasn’t out of fear. After all, I have overcome my fear of cancer and its devastating effects to my body, finances, and relationships. For crying out loud, I courageously stood up to a tornado a couple of weeks ago (if you missed that you can read about it here).

However, over the last few days I have repeatedly visited that song and continued to cry out to God and process what it was that He might be trying to show me through the deeply moving lyrics.

He began to show me my fears, and areas of my life where I was defeated when problems arise (tribulation, misunderstanding, and slander). Though they seem small in comparison to the courage it takes to stand against the big storms in my life, they have the potential to be equally overwhelming. Maybe more so.

I challenge you to do the same. Listen to the song and cry out to God like the psalmists did and let Him show you your weaknesses.

Oswald Chambers does a beautiful job of describing the necessity of rising above our circumstances. It is essential to our freedom. This is what he says in the devotion Are You Obsessed by Something in “My Utmost for His Highest”:

Are you obsessed by something? You will probably say, “No, by nothing,” but all of us are obsessed by something— usually by ourselves, or, if we are Christians, by our own experience of the Christian life. But the psalmist says that we are to be obsessed by God.

The abiding awareness of the Christian life is to be God Himself, not just thoughts about Him. The total being of our life inside and out is to be absolutely obsessed by the presence of God.

A child’s awareness is so absorbed in his mother that although he is not consciously thinking of her, when a problem arises, the abiding relationship is that with the mother.

In that same way, we are to “live and move and have our being” in God (Acts 17:28), looking at everything in relation to Him, because our abiding awareness of Him continually pushes itself to the forefront of our lives.

If we are obsessed by God, nothing else can get into our lives— not concerns, nor tribulation, nor worries. And now we understand why our Lord so emphasized the sin of worrying.

How can we dare to be so absolutely unbelieving when God totally surrounds us? To be obsessed by God is to have an effective barricade against all the assaults of the enemy.

“He himself shall dwell in prosperity . . .” (Psalm 25:13). God will cause us to “dwell in prosperity,” keeping us at ease, even in the midst of tribulation, misunderstanding, and slander, if our “life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).

We rob ourselves of the miraculous, revealed truth of this abiding companionship with God. “God is our refuge . . .” (Psalm 46:1). Nothing can break through His shelter of protection.