“Life was in Him……” (John 1:4).
The verb “was” here is in the imperfect tense thus telling us that the action occurred in the past, but is incomplete; so, in effect, this scripture tells us that life was in Him, is in Him and will be in Him. This is absolute; there is no life outside Him!
The only time we are truly living is in those moments when we respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and act; all else is merely biological existence! The moments when I truly live are the moments when I act out of a totally surrendered will. It must be my action; the responsibility is mine; I can’t act for anyone nor anyone for me; it must be my own deliberate act.
Today, we are encouraged to think that, merely by the act of believing, we will float to heaven on a perfumed cloud but this view is a grotesque distortion of the holy scriptures and presents a completely false picture of God’s expectation of us; we cannot discharge our responsibilities by a once done declaration of faith; faith is the beginning of the journey, not arrival at the destination.
Typically, our experience is that a truth is revealed to us about an area of our life; we confess we are wrong, but then, subsequently, we fall back again in that same area; then we come to the truth once more, confess once more and fall back once more. And so it goes, ad nauseum. This is a common experience for Christians and comes from the inability to abide in His presence continually; backsliding is the outcome of slack abiding!
Eventually, with God’s mercy, we may receive divine grace to learn that we have no business in turning back; when that happens and we act upon it with heartfelt resolve not to backslide in that area again, the supernatural power of God gives us life; the domination of the world, the flesh and the devil is paralysed; not because of my act, but because my act has joined me to the redemptive power of God. We are emancipated the second that we act upon a truth that God brings to the soul.
The Lord Jesus showed the way; it was prophesied of Him that He “set His face like flint” (Isaiah 50:7) to endure the suffering and humiliation that was to come to Him in obedience to the Father; Daniel “resolved in his heart” (Daniel 1:8) not to defile himself with the king’s food and wine; Jacob “vowed a vow” (Genesis 28:20) that the Lord would be his God.
That is what it takes, moral determination to do that which is laid before us; it will only come as the self, with the inherent wickedness and selfishness of the sly internal man that no-one sees but God, is utterly slain. God does not seek to break our will, but to bring it into union with His own. Surrender is not once done, but an ongoing struggle, until the soul is purged of “self” entirely; then, in resolution of the heart, we can delight in cleaving to the Lord and saying, with Paul;
“For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).