CHRIST IN OUR HEARTS
Our heart is the dwelling place of Christ by the Spirit, as we become more established in the faith. Christ in our hearts is a function of faith which goes beyond the ordinary knowledge of God. Our heart is the central or innermost part of us. It is regarded as the centre of a person's thoughts, intentions and emotions. When Christ is fully operational in your heart, then He's got your full attention.
Reference: Ephesians 3:17 King James Version (KJV) 'That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love.'
Christ can make His home in your heart by faith. Why did it say, 'by faith'? It's because faith is the only substance that pleases God (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV). Its a spiritual law that gets God's attention. If you want to please God, do what gives Him joy and you'll get His attention and delight right away. Strong faith pleases God. Therefore, to have Christ dwell in your heart and be full of Him, welling up with His love, it must be by faith.
Can Christ dwell in our hearts by faith? What does it mean? Notice that the question is not about 'how close you want to be with God', but 'how conscious are you about His indwelling presence'. Even in life, you cannot master any topic seriously except you have mastered it in your heart. The Scripture says, "That Christ may dwell in your heart", not "that you may call upon Him sometimes, and invite Him once in a while." For the born again Christian, Christ is not a casual visitor who visits and probably stays overnight, but He is to dwell in your heart as the Lord of your inmost being, because He's made you His permanent address, never to leave again.
The Bible says in Colossians 1:27 (NLT), '...And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.' Observe the words: 'Christ lives in you'. This means: God has now come to reside in you now because you are the temple of His Spirit. Interestingly, it is very hard for some Christians to accept that Christ lives in them permanently. They would rather accept that as they pray down His presence, follow His commandments and do good things, His presence will come down from heaven upon them or they'll become closer to God. So they talk about going to a meeting where the presence of God will come down, or being at a specific place because God is there. On the contrary Jesus said, 'No one will say, 'Look, here it is!' or, 'There it is!'; because the Kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21 GNT).
Many Christians have been taught differently about 'His presence' and so unfortunately they live their Christian life with that perspective. It's not so much of a surprise that this is the case because Colossians 1:27 tells us that 'Christ in us' is a mystery or a secret. In other words, it's a coded reality. No wonder the Scripture, 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NASB) says: "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you-- unless indeed you fail the test?" This is a good question from Paul because many Christians are yet to recognise and embrace this reality.
A Christian can only function with this truth by personal revelation, not by general information or head knowledge. 'Christ lives in you' means that He is one with you and His spirit flows in every fibre of your being. But for 'Christ to dwell in your heart', it means that you've also granted Him access to the best room in the house! Not just in your thoughts alone or in any other part of you, but in your control room - the heart. Just like a visitor is not allowed access to the most important room, until we stop treating Christ like a visitor, He may never dwell in our hearts permanently or have full control.
Scripture Reading - John 17:21; Romans 8:10; 2 Corinthians 4:7; Galatians 2:20.
Exuberant Declaration: I'm blessed beyond measure and forever glowing because Christ Jesus has made His home in my inward being. He dwells in my heart by faith and His glory is continually revealed in my spirit. Thus, I'm a God-carrying vessel, for Christ has made my heart His operational headquarters. He lives in my spirit, soul and body, and in Him I live, move and have my being. Blessed be God!