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One of the great keys of the Kingdom is learning to dwell “in Christ.” It is simply surrendering our agenda to be with Jesus and see what’s on His heart. That place and time is the wellspring of everything we have to give others.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  Ps 91:1 NASU

Christ in me – When we get saved and forgiven there is an ongoing impartation, a discipleship process that begins. We receive gifts of the Spirit and learn to operate in healing, the prophetic, evangelism, and deliverance. Christ in you is the hope of glory and it’s literally glorious and fun right here on earth. When Jesus dwells in us, there is grace to do some amazing things that bless us and the people we touch. It is a place of allowing His anointing to flow through us. We have to choose to cooperate with miracles… not a hard choice, but one we must make and enter. This level carries the connotation of obedience. I’m cooperating with the promptings of God’s spirit and seeing the miraculous fruit through my own hands and words. It’s so much fun, it’s almost addictive.

I’m in Christ – There is another level of discipleship where I choose to be in Christ. I am choosing to put His Kingdom first. I’m choosing to enter His Kingdom and I’m choosing to spend time with Him. This level goes beyond the works and fruit of anointing to commune with the heart of Jesus and the Father. Christ in me is about me and seeing the Kingdom, when I’m in Christ it is about Him and entering His Kingdom. The paradox is that I’m finding my mountain, passion, and purpose. The Father designed it into me from the beginning.

The first level is about obedience, the second is about heart… sharing His heart and discovering what He’s placed in my heart that resonates with what the Father is doing. I no longer see gifts and anointing as an end in themselves – they are important tools to build something much bigger.

When I come into Jesus and His Kingdom, I’m sharing His heart. I’m volunteering. “In Christ” is coming into His angelic protection, yet sharing His warfare, suffering, persecution, resurrections, triumphs, purpose and person. At salvation I laid down all my sin and carnal agendas. At the door of the Kingdom I’m laying down all my gifts and anointing… in exchange for a Kingdom destiny and direction that will put all those gifts and anointing in the context of their purpose.

“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again.  18 “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. John 10:17-18 NASU

Examples – These are general truths that have different applications in each of our lives. Let’s try to communicate the same thoughts in practice.

Connected – What does it feel like when I minister my gifts out of the first level before I’m “in Christ and in His Kingdom”? The miracles are just as real, but the heart for people is missing. The works apart from the context of our calling doesn’t carry the same level of love and passion to release the heart of other people. There is a certain shallowness. We are not fully present, connected. We can do the signs and wonders as a performance and miss the connection with people. Gifts always flow from love for people. The prerequisite is to be fully connected with my own heart and God’s heart.

Finances – When I’ve found my place in the Kingdom, I have ownership and initiative for my assignment and purpose that naturally flows out of my own heart – it fits me. It has a specific direction and I’m seeking God’s wisdom to prosper it. I’m setting goals and using cash flow, business plans, schedules, and mentors. My spirituality is no longer one dimensional. I’m navigating the real world of work, finances and culture and my impact is both on both individuals and now nations.

The secret place – Through seasons of tribulation or quiet, in the absence of any other triumph, or work or miracle, there is still a place of finding His presence and hearing His voice. I can do His miracles, engage in His works, and see His purpose, yet the most consistent thread is abiding in Him. My heart is refreshed and renewed in His presence. Nothing can separate me from His love. Jesus, himself, is my deepest well, the source of everything else. I’m in Him.

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:4-8 NIV

On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. John 14:20 NIV

Ask Whatsoever – A consequence of being in Christ via the secret place is our authority and confidence grows to another level. We’re not afraid to expect results because our initiative isn’t just our own. It’s not just the blind obedience of a performing servant. Our initiatives come out of our own hearts with an awareness that they are equally on God’s heart. That’s a recipe for boldness and fruit that changes lives and circumstances. It releases prophetic authority that commands results… out of love for people. Very healthy!

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other. John 15:16-17 NIV

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