The ABCs of Not I but Christ

Holy Grail

In my post What’s in it for me?, Irene commented and essentially asked how does Not I but Christ play out practically.  This is the Holy Grail of all questions.  “How do I let Christ live my life?” Well, though it should be practically lived out in every aspect of our lives, there is no 1-2-3 methodology to walking this out.  There’s no fixed set of ABC’s into union with Christ. The fruit of methods is animatronic death.

Not I But Christ

Not I But Christ
So all this being said, I am going to share some tips that I have gleaned along the way. First, “Not I but Christ” is a mystery.  It is one of the most mysterious things in the universe. I believe the Word of God is filled full from cover to cover about this.  And recently I heard it said that every promise in the Bible is about the incarnation.  This is simply amazing and I believe it wholeheartedly! So, if it is a mystery, then it must also be revealed.  I have to receive from God the revelation of “Not I but Christ.”  It is a deep spiritual mystery, so Wisdom Himself must give it to me.  I must ask, knock, even beg for it—and then wait for it to be given.

Now if it is a mystery, and it must be grasped by revelation, then it also must be received by faith.  Faith is the only thing that will accept something so otherworldly. And there is only one type of person that will release himself to the realm of the remarkable, and that is the little child.

Being A Child: Not I but Christ

Being A Child: Not I but Christ
Christ said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it,” (Mark 10:15) and “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).

So achieving “Not I but Christ” or mastering this reality is impossible. But I believe that it is important enough to God, that if you abandon yourself to receiving Him in it, He will do the work of getting you there.

For it is God who is at work in you,
both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Philippians 2:13 NASB

God is by no means attempting to frustrate us in this.  It is not an unobtainable or just-out-of-our-reach reality.  But it is impossible to make it happen.  I won’t study my way into it (I’ve got a stack of books if you want to borrow them.). I won’t work my way into it (Anyone have a pummel stone? My calluses are rough!). I won’t say the right mantra to make it a reality (Could you pick me up some throat spray?). No, I will let go, become a little child, with all my wonder and fascination, and Christ will bring forth His satisfaction and delight. Yes, His good pleasure is that we would know “the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

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    • Susan

      Once I had a master, employer if you will, that would yank my chain for the sport of it. Not for humor, but as a form of control. I really didn’t particularly like or respect him. So as to keep my heart right and do my work as unto the Lord, I began to cry out for God’s love for him. OMGosh, this overflowing love & compassion flowed and took over from that time forward, which had of course nothing to do with me!

    • Irene

      This is an excellent response to my question John. It is not methods (I had to look up the definition of animatronic) but The Master. Thank you dear brother for reinforcing what Holy Spirit has been teaching me in Matthew 11:28-29 and 18:3 for the past two months. I will continue to come to Jesus as a little child, take His yoke on me and learn from Him, trusting that He Who has begun a good work in me will complete it. Your words are always encouraging and edifying to me and I am grateful for your ministry.

    • Sam

      Irene question was a HARSH one. I was wondering how you would deal with it. I began with a great smile, like saying… how would John do to explain the inexplicable? But you constrained yourself to not bring up the manual, and extended the grace to say that which unbelievers call to be a “manual” (Bible) to be an historical and current proof of the incarnation of Jesus.

    • Sharon

      God gave me a song today

      With your post John and the song. “My life is not my own to You I belong I give myself, I give myself to You Lord.” Brought a very sweet aroma to my heart!

    • Tina

      Somewhere the other day the topic of seeing God in creation came up. A fresh example of this truth was given me through the realities of my surroundings. I am seeing the picture of God’s work inside of me being manifested. All summer I have been little by little working in my yard. Part of the personal connection to my heart’s desire and God is that I have very fond memories regarding raspberries at my grandmother’s and have always longed to grow them. Several times I purchased and planted and they would get mowed, die etc. This spring I planted a couple plants and put a border around them, good soil etc. They are still alive but look like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. The other day, with help, we tackled a large area of brush behind the house and to my delight I found an entire section of wild raspberries growing among the weeds. I made sure that my helpers did not cut them and now am going to work to clear them. God spoke to me deeply about my efforts to grow my own berries and how futile seeing His perfect and abundant supply. I now get to just tend them and wait for His fruit!

      • Tina

        Pauline, Letting Go has been my part for the last few days…just letting go of anything and all things that move me in to trying to control, fix, pull me from His peace and love, lies…risking to believe what appears to be true but has the fruit of death…

    • Pauline

      “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”: Sounds like something *we* do; “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure”: Sounds like something *God* does.
      Is it possible to just let go of everything we have in our hands: loves, ideas, plans, etc.? How can we receive if we’ve got stuff in our hands? Is this something we do or God does? Might be a bit unsettling because then we wouldn’t have any control, but maybe that’s the point.
      Wow, went back and read your post again: “I believe that it is important enough to God, that if *you* abandon yourself to receiving Him in it, *He* will do the work of getting you there.” You just answered my question. Thank you, John, for letting Him speak!
      “Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God.” Holy Spirit, take me there . . . keep me there, as a child.

    • […] It is in my next blog, posted on Wednesday, that I will actually respond to Irene’s comment. Sorry about that! I […]


      Blessed beyond human words.

    • tammy

      Sometimes when I fear that it’s not Him but me walking out the daily routine of life – He reminds me that my fear is not of Him. (The gift of repentance, what a blessing.) All I can do, is by faith, trust that He’s in control. If it happens that I allow my already deceased flesh to rear its head – I have complete reassurance that He will alert me to it IF I am willing to hear the truth. If I’m not satisfied that I’ve heard from Him – there are His words in black and white ready to confirm that I’ve heard from Him (sometimes even the youngest of babes deal with a stubborn streak). He loves us so much, and wants us to succeed that He gives and gives and gives. He is THE PERFECT PAPA.

      Thank you for this post John. “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done FOR them by My Father in Heaven.” Matthew 18:19 NKJV (emphases mine)


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