You're asleep in your bed one night and you begin to dream. Gradually the dream becomes more than a dream. It's a vision. You see the Lord Jesus standing before you. He doesn't look like the pictures of Jesus you've seen all your life, but you know who it is.


"You've been seeking me for some time," he says. "You've been trying to connect with me, and always something seems to be missing. So tonight I fulfill my promise that those who seek me in my word will know me in a living way. As of tonight I will be living inside you by my Spirit.


I will guide you from within.

I will empower you to break out of your old habits and attitudes.

My love will begin to flood your soul and inspire your living."


The vision fades. You sink into a deep sleep. In the morning when you awaken the vision remains a vivid memory. It follows you all through the day. And you begin to experience the very things the Master promised:


You do have a new outlook.

You find yourself dealing with those old habits and attitudes with fresh power.

You are seeing people with new eyes.


Scripture calls this "Christ in you, the hope of glory," Christ living inside you. And how does he live inside you? Is it as if there's a shining dot of glory in there somewhere? No. If Christ is in you, your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Your whole body. He indwells every part of it, right down to your fingernails.


He indwells your mind and will, yes. But also your eyes, your ears, your mouth, your hands.


You begin to see with his eyes. In glimpses and flashes at first. But it keeps getting better.


You begin to hear with his ears. You hear the leading of the Father in the voice of a gentle stillness. In ordinary conversation with a friend you begin to hear the cry of their heart even while they speak calm words.


There are moments when, without knowing it, you begin to speak with his mouth.


Moments when your hands convey his healing light.


And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.

I John 3:24


It's easy enough to say, "I believe in Jesus Christ." Lots of people do. And they're sincere. "Of course I believe in Jesus Christ!" they insist. But when Jesus talks about having faith in him, he means something more than what most people mean when they say they believe in Jesus. He's not talking about having an opinion about who he is. He's talking about a living connection.


Do I know him?
Does he live in me?

Is he guiding my life from inside?


I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him…she who abides in me and I in her…this is the one who bears fruit. Apart from me you cannot live this life.


We're not talking about 2000 years ago. We're talking about now. Jesus alive, inside these bodies, ruling inside these minds. Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a cripple, by what means this man has been healed, be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by him this man is standing before you well."

Acts 4:8-10

Where did Peter get the guts to talk like that to the High Priest and his cohorts, the very men who put Jesus on the cross? Where did he get the power to heal the lame man? Peter was still Peter. But he had the Incarnate Word living within him, giving him those words, as he promised….

This will be a time for you to bear testimony. Settle it therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.

Luke 21:14-15

"I will give you a mouth and wisdom." How? From within. Christ in you, flooding your soul with the atmosphere of heaven.


This miracle of the indwelling Christ was not just meant for Peter and the spiritual giants of yesterday. It is meant for each of us. It's the foundation of the life of faith. It's the way we are transformed into sons and daughters of heaven.


So is he "in here" or isn't he?

According to John there is no need for guessing.

"By this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us."

If the Spirit of God is in you, guiding you, ruling you, then the risen Lord Jesus is in you---and not as some little dot of glory tucked away between your liver and your lungs. He is in every part of you. Your entire body is the temple of his Spirit. That's what he wants for each of us. He wants to transform our faith into something alive, joyful, powerful, by living within us.

If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.


If a woman loves me, she will keep my word, and my Father will love her, and we will come to her and make our home with her.

John 14:23

If a man loves me….if a woman loves me….how do I get to love him like that…so that he can dwell within me? Exactly as he prescribes: by drawing near to the words he speaks.


By listening to those words.

Soaking them into my soul.

Pondering them.

Stepping into them with my life.


Because he lives in those words!

Now if Jesus says, "Forgive," you're going to start to forgive. That grudge you've been carrying for years will begin to melt away---by his indwelling presence.


If he says, "Give," you're going to start opening your heart with a generosity that will scare you. It's not your kind of generosity, it's his! And whatever you do, inspired by that generosity, you will never regret.


If he says, "Wash feet," you will go out an start washing feet. You will begin to think of yourself as a servant. And you will serve with no fuss or muss, because his Servant Spirit is transforming you from within.


And as you live his words, the Spirit of God surrounds you like a cloud of glory, rises up within you like a refreshing spring. You are being baptized in the Spirit, indwelt by the living God.

By this we know that he abides in us, by his Spirit which he has given us.


Christ in you, the hope of glory.

But there is one thing about this miracle which we need to understand from the outset: the minute you give the Lord that throne deep within you, that throne where you used to sit---your "Lone Ranger" days are over. You are no longer the center of the universe. Things no longer have to go your way.


Now you are linked to every soul on earth in whom he dwells. Through the Lord, who lives in you, you are joined to a community that covers the earth and marches on beyond the gates of death.


And now, from within, the Lord guides you into a specific fellowship of struggling saints, where you get lots of practice at showing patience, at learning how to forgive, at learning how to love. Just as the Lord Jesus has come to live in your body, he now begins to fit you into his Body---this motley crew of redeemed souls, struggling to walk the new walk: the church.


And by the way, the church is not a club where we just look after each other. The church is a launching pad, where he sends us out---out to where he sent Peter, when he healed the lame man. Out to where the power of his cross continues to work miracles. Out there with the forgotten, neglected, rejected people of this world are languishing. People who live within the shadow of our churches. A stone's throw from our homes.

Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.


Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.


Go out there and find the rejects of this world and bring them to my Banquet Hall.

(How come our churches all look like middle-class clubs? Once the Lord Jesus runs the show from within us, that changes. It always does.)

The Spirit of God is speaking to us, helping us to adjust our thinking to what the Lord Jesus has been telling us all along:


That the new life he bought for us with his blood and death….

The new life that takes possession of us, when the Spirit enters….


is simply Christ in you, the hope of glory.

the Incarnate Word indwelling our very bodies.


If we are willing to get off the throne and die to our vanity---to let him have the throne---the Spirit of the Lord Jesus will enter us a afresh and fulfill the vision.

I am crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

May the Lord Jesus,


who walked this earth in a body of flesh and blood like yours and mine,


who was executed in that body outside Jerusalem as the Lamb of God,


who rose as the Firstborn of the New Creation, never to die again,

may he receive a welcome from that throne within us,

so that we may know the joy of his indwelling presence,

the freedom that comes only when we lives within,

the power to live the new life,


as we keep yielding that throne to him.


Christ in you the hope of glory.