“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me,” (Galatians 2:20).
Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission, is one of my spiritual heroes. Feeling the call of God as a teenager to go to China, Taylor obeyed. After having been on the field for about fifteen years, Hudson Taylor became aware that God wanted to do a deeper work in his life. He described his spiritual condition in a letter to his mother:
“My own position becomes continually more and more responsible, and my need greater of special grace to fill it, but I have continually to mourn that I follow at such a distance and learn so slowly to imitate my precious Master. I cannot tell you how I am buffeted sometimes by temptation. I never knew how bad a heart I had. Yet I do know that I love God and love His work, and desire to serve Him only in all things. And I value above all things that precious Savior in Whom alone I can be accepted. Often I am tempted to think that one so full of sin cannot be a child of God at all; but I try to throw it back, and rejoice all the more in the preciousness of Jesus, and in the riches of that grace that has made us ‘accepted in the Beloved.’ Beloved He is of God; beloved He ought to be of us. But oh, how short I fall here again! May God help me to love Him more and serve Him better. Do pray for me. Pray that the Lord will keep me from sin, will sanctify me wholly, will use me more largely in His service.”
The answer to the longing in Hudson Taylor’s heart was found in the counsel of a fellow missionary, John McCarthy, who wrote:
“To let my loving Savior work in me His will, my sanctification is what I would live for by His grace. Abiding, not striving nor struggling; looking off unto Him; trusting Him for present power; trusting Him to subdue all inward corruption; resting in the love of an almighty Savior, in the conscious joy of a complete salvation, a salvation ‘from all sin’ (this is His Word); willing that His will should truly be supreme – this is not new, and yet ‘tis new to me. I feel as though the first dawning of a glorious day had risen upon me. I hail it with trembling, yet with trust. I seem to have got to the edge only, but of a sea which is boundless; to have sipped only, but of that which fully satisfies. Christ literally all seems to me now the power, the only power for service; the only ground for unchanging joy. May He lead us into the realization of His unfathomable fullness.”
The “realization of His unfathomable fullness” is part of the experience of revival in the heart of a Christ-follower. It is what Paul described as Christ increasingly living His life through our yielded lives (Gal.2:20). It is living moment by moment of each day completely sustained by the life of Christ in us. It is the incessant yielding of our lives to the control of the Spirit of Christ dwelling within. Then the life we live is “not striving or struggling,” but rather simply abiding in the overcoming, victorious life of Jesus within.
Note: For more of Hudson Taylor’s story, as well as the stories of other transformed lives, see They Found the Secret, by V. Raymond Edman.