"The only Life which will make a difference in us is CHRIST."

I HEARD A SONG THE OTHER DAY, a beautiful melody, and the popular singer had a lovely voice. But, not to sound like a dud, it was just another love song. I wrote romance for many years, so I have nothing against love songs. There is a place for a man to serenade his wife (a place for a beautiful, clean love song, to be even more of a mom). But the greatest love of my life died on the cross for me, so anything without His presence filling it seems empty.

A popular Christian artist has this lyric in His song, that following our emotions is like drowning in the shadows. Israel had the Law outlined for them by Moses, how to worship, how to offer sacrifices, and all the do’s and don’ts of the commandments. At the top was to worship Jehovah and no other gods. They were not to be turned aside by any of the shadows the other nations worshipped. Yet, drawn away by their emotions, time and time again, they fell into vanity, giving empty worship to wood and stone.

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,” (Ephesians 4:17)

The apostle Paul made this statement to the church at Ephesus. He told them to “be renewed in the spirit of your mind,” and to stop the profitless, emptiness of their behavior. Don’t act like those who are not IN CHRIST, those who had no life in them, those who were “past feeling,” doing whatever their emotions led them into.

He lamented this same trouble to the Roman church. “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do,” he said. In other words, “No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to do the right thing.” Then he cried out. “Who can help me?” The answer comes IN CHRIST. If CHRIST BE IN YOU, then the Spirit of the Father, the precious Holy Spirit is in you, and you have all the power you need to walk LIKE CHRIST. The Old Covenant law was fulfilled by Jesus Christ. So trying to follow the Law was like singing that restaurant song, a lot of words without meaning and worse yet, without any power behind them. We have been given something new, something better, fueled by God’s Spirit.

Here is the heart of the Father. No longer are we helpless and unable to behave as God would instruct us. No longer do we need to give into frustration because when we ought to do one thing, we end up doing another. All the power we need to live after Jesus’ example is with us through the Holy Spirit’s presence in us. Because He is ever speaking, because we are continually listening, we know how to walk and where to walk. Our voices lifted in praises, we are filled with the same power that raised Christ from the dead, and are able to overcome.

Place a car frame in your driveway, and it can look beautiful, have expensive tires and a fancy paint job. You can even get in and sit behind the wheel. But if it has no motor, then you are left with a lot of silence, or you can sit there and make engine revving noises, but you will go nowhere. The world around us, secular society and false religions are full of ideas about gods, about how to live and how to behave, but there is only One who can fill us with what our hearts truly require.

Israel asked for a king, to be like the nations God did not want them to be like, and He allowed it saying they had rejected Him. He wanted to be their King. Yet after Saul, after David, after Solomon, the nation divided and for generations, ungodly kings, who had exalted themselves into leadership, did evil in the Lord’s sight until one day, King Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the landscape and carried the people to Babylon. Without God as King, without His wisdom filling the leadership, the nation and the people in the nation failed.

The only Life which will make a difference in us is CHRIST. Otherwise, we’re drinking from an empty glass. And with an empty glass in our hand, we will thirst to death when there within our reach is an entire river proceeding from the throne of God. Jesus’ victory over death gives the lyrics meaning. His goodness fills us and fills us until we’re overflowing, and all that He is in us spills over into the lives of others. He united us with the Father through the Holy Spirit so that everything God is could fill us from now on and we would never be empty again.

There is our true success. Not in endless rules and regulations, commandments without power. Not in up-and-down emotions which will always lead us astray. Not in idols set on podiums made of paper. Nor in powerful leaders who don’t have God in them. These are empty glasses without power. Songs without a subject.

Our song comes from the heart of the King of kings, whose Presence fills it, whose Spirit empowers it, and its lyrics tell a story which enables us to live well. Which grows fruit in us – love, joy, peace, faith, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. It renews our mind and changes our behavior. We become CHRISTLIKE. Members of the BODY OF CHRIST, which is filled with Him whose fullness fills everything everywhere.

“All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.” (Ephesians 1:20-23 MSG)

Suzanne D. Williams, Author