by E.W. Kenyon – Used by Permission
We invite the Holy Spirit, who has imparted to us this Nature from the Father, to come into our body and make His home in us, then as we begin to feed on the Word, practice the Word, live the Word, He builds that Word into us.
The very genius of Christianity is the ability of God to build Himself into us through the Word, so that in our daily walk we live like the Master.
Ephesians 5:1,2 “Be ye therefore imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us.” As children of Love, we are to walk in Love as Christ walked in Love toward the world. The Father so loved the world that He gave His Son. Jesus so loved the world that He gave Himself. Now I so love the world that I give myself. I don’t allow my heart to grow bitter toward it, no matter what the criticism or the persecution may be.
Whenever I am inclined to say, Well, I am wasting my time on them, I remember Paul and Silas at Philippi: They had been arrested. They had been whipped until their backs were a mass of bleeding flesh, then put into a dungeon with their hands and feet in stocks. In the midst of that agony, that physical distress, they prayed and sang praises.
They so stirred Heaven that the Father had to open the jail; and when the earthquake had so frightened the jailer that he cried out in agony of fear, Paul preached to him with that bleeding back, and the jailer found Jesus. Then he washed the backs of both Paul and Silas, and a Church was formed in the home of the jailer. If Paul had any other spirit he could never have done it, but he was like his Master. He gave himself up to the dominion, the Lordship of Love.
The Father wants to reproduce Himself in us. Galatians 4:19: “My little children, of whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you.” The process of building Christ into one may be very slow, but it makes Jesus men and women out of us.
We are created in Christ Jesus. We are His Creation; and until Christ is formed in us, the world cannot see anything but religion in us. Philippians 2:13: “For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure.” The Father is actually building His Love Life, His Righteousness, His strength, and His Wisdom into our spirits.
Years ago when I was the head of the school back in the East, after an evangelistic campaign I would invariably ask some of the teachers, “Have I grown any since you last saw me? Can you see any marks of growth in my spiritual life?” I was so fearful that a month or two would go by that I hadn’t grown in Christ and in Knowledge of the Word.
II Peter 3:18: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Grace means Love at work. The Greek word means “Love Gifts.” The Spirit longs for us to grow in this Love Life; to have the Love Nature of Jesus demonstrated in our daily walk. I am convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt, that only as we yield ourselves to the Lordship of Love, can He ever build Himself into us.
It is not knowledge of the Scriptures. I may have a vast knowledge of the Word. That isn’t it. It is the Word that is built into me and becomes a part of me that counts. As you study the Pauline Revelation you become convinced that the ultimate of every one of those Epistles is the building of the Jesus Life in the individual. His plan for building Himself into us is striking. We must take Jesus’ place. We must learn to act in His stead. There must be the conscious training of our spirits to be His actual representatives.
Colossians 1:9-12 gives us an intimation of the passion of the Father to make Himself known to us in such a real way that we can enter into all the riches of the fulness of His Life that belongs to us. Here is a prayer of the Spirit through the lips of Paul: “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray and make request for you, that ye may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” The word knowledge in the Greek is “epignosis.” It means full knowledge, complete knowledge, exact knowledge. We should have that kind of Knowledge, for it is in this Revelation.
We have the Holy Spirit who inspired it as our teacher. He has never left His position as an instructor. He is here in my heart and yours, and He longs to fill us with the exact knowledge of the Father’s will in all Spiritual Wisdom and Understanding. It will be Wisdom to use the knowledge of this Revelation in our daily walk. It will be Wisdom to know how to use the statements of fact as well as the promises in the Gospels. It will be Wisdom to know how to make this message known in an attractive way. We are to have “knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom,” a deeper insight into the very heart of the Father.
I Corinthians 2:9,10 may throw some light on this. “Things which eye saw not, the ear heard not, and which entered not into the heart of man, whatsoever things God prepared for them that love him.” These are revealed to us today in this Revelation through the Spirit, for the Holy Spirit is able to search all things, yea, the deep things of God, and our recreated spirit is enabled to follow the Holy Spirit in this searching of the Riches of His Grace.
Most of these riches are in the Pauline Revelation. In Ephesians 3:8 we catch a glimpse of where Paul said, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach unto the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” These unsearchable riches belong to us, but, like pearls, we have to search for them.
I Corinthians 2:11,12 “For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him? even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God.” Now note carefully the next verse: “But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God; that we might know the things that were freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth.” We are learning to grasp this exact truth by the aid of the Spirit.
We find that in Colossians 1:9,10 this knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding is to enable us to walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing. Our walk is before the world. We might say that it is a two-fold walk. One phase of it is before the Father, and the other is before the world. I am to walk worthy of the Lord before men so they will recognize this New Life in me. I am so Jesusized (if we could coin the word), that they will become Jesus-conscious in my presence.
I knew a woman that found Christ through my ministry over the air. Her husband was a godless man and she had been a fit companion in his worldliness, but now she had found Christ. It went on for several weeks until finally one morning before he went to work, he said, “Do you know, woman, that I have been living and sleeping and eating with Jesus Christ for the last two weeks.” She was a keen-minded woman, and she said, “How do you enjoy it?” Tears filled his eyes. He said, “I wish I was like that. I wish I had that something that has come into your life.” You see, Jesus had so lived in her that the man could feel the presence of the Master in her.
Two young men were working in a shop. One of them was studying the Word in our classes. The fellow working on a lathe next to him said to him one morning, “Harry, I would like to ask you something that is personal. What have you in your life that makes you so different from all the other men here in the room?” The boy answered, “Jesus.” “Oh,” he said, “that is religion; I don’t believe in that. And the young boy said, “It is not religion, it is the Living Christ.”
Christ magnified in my body, said Paul (Philippians 1:20); Christ made large in my daily walk. In Philippians 1:20,21 he said, “For to me to live is Christ.”
Once those words burned in my heart for months. The Master was saying to me, “I want to be magnified in you. I want to absorb your personality. I want to take possession of your dreams and ambitions. I want the first place in your life.” I was afraid of Him. I spoke out, “Lord, I don’t dare let you have control of me, for if I do I will never achieve the things for which I am so ambitious. And I shall never forget, a voice in my heart said, “I love you more than you love yourself. I am more ambitious for your success than you are. I have the ability to put you over.”
I said, “Lord, don’t make me preach on the streets. You will send me down into the slums. I don’t want to go there Lord.” I struggled again, but He was tender with me. His Wisdom became so apparent. Often in my extremities He had helped me. When I would get into difficulties He would lift me out.
One day I said, “Master, I will go with you. Here I am; take all of my ability. Swallow up my ambition with your own, but give me Love like your Love. Help me to so live that men can see you in me, feel you, that when I speak it will be your voice. When I lay hands on the sick it will be your hands.” And then I heard a Scripture in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in your Master, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.”
Then I said, “Now Master, I trust you and I give myself up to you.” You see, when we come quietly in our heart-life to the place where we say “Yes” to Him, then He reveals Himself in us. It is not forced upon us. He doesn’t drive us. He doesn’t force us with sickness or the loss of property. The sickness comes because we are not aware that He can shield us.
We have gone the way of our inclinations. We have gone the way of our own desires and our plans have been worked out, reasoned out with sense knowledge. How it must hurt His heart when we are so unwise; when we do so many foolish things. When His Wisdom is at our call, His Ability awaits us, we are almost limitless. All that He is, is at our disposal, but sometimes we choose a road that leads to heartaches and disappointments.
You see, it is this forming of Christ within us. That is the secret that is the genius of the New Creation. “Wherefore, if any man is in Christ, there is a New Creation.” It is perfect as far as it has gone, but He wants to build Himself more fully into that New Creation, and so He takes the things of Christ that are unveiled to us in the Word, and the Spirit builds them into us.
We admired the strength and courage of Jesus in His earth walk. We were thrilled at the ability that Christ manifested as He met every difficult situation. His Wisdom, gentleness and forbearance we admired, and now the Spirit wants to take all of those things that we have admired in Jesus and build them into us. Can’t you see what it means? It is the Father’s ambition to make us successful and to enable us to enjoy the riches that belong to us.
I don’t know whether you have noticed it or not, but in one of the prayer Scriptures in John 16:23,24, Jesus said this: “And in that day ye shall not pray to me. (This is literal). “But verily, verily, I say unto you, if ye shall ask anything of the Father, He will give it to you in my name. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be made full.” Joy is something that comes into the Recreated human spirit. The natural man doesn’t have it.
Hear Jesus speaking again in John 15:11: “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” That is a miracle, that Jesus’ joy may be made full in me. That not only will I make Him joyful, but He imparts to me His joy. That something that makes the evangel irresistible, now fills my heart. When I speak my face will glow, my voice will be filled with the melody of heaven.
You see, when He builds himself into us and we begin to labor together with Him, we have His Life, we have His Love, yea, we have Himself. Christ then is being formed in us. Now it is no longer I but Christ.
The men who have grown deeply spiritual, are the men in whom the Word has had full control. John 15:7,8 may throw a little light on this: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you.” Every believer is in Christ, but His words are not in every believer. What does it mean to have His words abiding in me, gaining the absolute ascendancy, dominating me in every phase of my thinking and my life. As Jeremiah said, We feed upon the Word of God. Now I am feeding. I am living in that Word. I am practicing it. I am what James (1:22,23) calls, “a doer of the Word.”
Jesus said that the doer of the Word dug deep and built his house upon the rock, and it made his house able to stand against any storm that might beat against it. He not only said that, but: He said “If ye abide in me, and my words have found their place in you, then you can ask what you will and it shall be created by the Father for you,” brought into being. Oh, I see it now. I co-operate with him.
In that fifth verse he said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” Now I can understand it. As a branch, I am going to bear His fruit. I am laboring together with Him. He and I are operating together, are identified one with the other. He is finding a place for His ability to energize and act here on the earth again.
It is like a wealthy man that finds an intelligent, young man that he can set up in business, and the young man has ability to use this wealthy man’s money. Now He and I are laboring together and the Father is glorified because I am bearing much fruit, and I prove by my life my discipleship. I prove that I am growing in Grace, and I am growing in that “exact knowledge of God, in all spiritual Wisdom and Understanding, to the end that I may walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing.” I am bearing fruit now in every good work, and I am increasing in that exact knowledge, that perfect knowledge of the Father.
You have noticed in Jesus’ life that there was always a sense of sureness, a sense of certainty. There was no vacillating. He never stopped and said, “Now pray that I may have wisdom.” He had it. Into our lives comes that same quiet sureness, that certainty that we know the Father’s will. We are walking in it. And we are made fruitful with His ability that is at work in us. It is according to the might of His glory, and it has given to us steadfastness and long-suffering, with joy.
Colossians 1:12: “Giving thanks unto the Father, who has given us the ability to enjoy our share of the inheritance of the saints in light.” This is a climax of the heart desire of the Father that we should so let Him live His Life in us, that we begin to enjoy our share of our inheritance in Christ.
We are drawing dividends on what He has done for us and in us. We are coming to enjoy the riches of His Grace.