What’s in a name?
A huge circle I have turned. With my question also comes a comment; it is not the name but Christ whom defines.
My name was placed in the heart of my parents before my birth. Christopher, bearer of Christ, Christ within, he whom carries Christ.
I am in Christ and Christ is in me. Christ is my light and my shield. I am not the light, but Christ is the light within me.
When I was young many who were troubled came to me and would tell me of their problems. I had no experience to draw from so I just listened. They would thank me for talking with them and say they always felt better. It always confused me and I would say, “I didn’t say anything,” and they would say, “Well, it was a good talk, I needed it.” As I grew older and more experienced I began to see that God had given me a good mind, and I began to think that it was because of this that people wanted my advice. So I began to draw from my experience and worldly knowledge to give counsel, and a strange thing occurred. They no longer received comfort from our conversations, and my advice seemed to have a less than positive effect. I felt confused and unhelpful and more importantly as if I had lost something.
God revealed that it was not me that they sought, but Him, and when I was young I would listen and pray for them rather than intellectually analyze their problems and attempt to fix them. I failed as a friend by seeking to help in my own strength. The Lord revealed this helpful truth:
Christ is in God and God in Christ. Before the cross Christ prayed to the Father that He would unify the church into one body and that we would be in Him – in Christ. From that time forward Christ said we are in Him and He is in us. So, since we are in Him, present tense, and the present being before the Cross, then we were in Christ when He was crucified for us. Therefore we and our sinful nature were crucified with Him. Just before Jesus gave up His Spirit, He said, “It is finished.” Present tense, in His time. He did not say, “It has begun,” or “Open their eyes and let the struggles with their revealed sin begin.” He said, “It is finished.” So sin is finished, my death in Him is finished. Then, still being in Him I was raised from the dead and in Him I ascended to the Father. Now I know this truth, and I was baptized into my new self; my new body dead to sin. This was the beginning of my changed heart. It is not I that will overcome, it is not my strength or desire, or anything else but Christ is in me. I am nothing. Christ is everything. The Holy Spirit will wrought Christ in me. It is only Christ whom pleases God, so He must be in me. I am not Christ. I do not become Him. I become His vessel. I am a cup and Christ fills the cup. It is not the cup that gives peace and comfort, but what the cup bears. People do not thirst for the vessel, but what the vessel carries. I carry Christ in me. Therefore, Christ is the light in me. He is what people see and desire to speak with. It is Christ in me Whom ministers to them and gives them the peace they seek.
My prayers have often been, “God give me the strength, give me the will, give me the power.” God wants to weaken me and teach me that it is Him and it is Christ in me that is my strength, my light, my shield, my salvation. He is the light of the world in me. It is not I that overcome, but Christ in me that has overcome. I am just a bearer, a vessel, the cup, and Christ is what the world needs and Christ is in me, and I am in Him.