The Command within Us

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“You must carefully follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase, and may enter and take possession of the land the Lord swore to your fathers” (Deut. 8:1).

In a previous post, I said the history of Israel taking the land gives two spiritual pictures at once: 1) believers possessing Christ by faith; 2) Jesus (the same name as Joshua) possessing the soul of the believer.

Under the old covenant (as the verse above shows) there was a connection between taking the land and keeping God’s commands. Concerning the two pictures of taking the land, Deuteronomy 8:1 focuses on the aspect of Jesus possessing our souls. For us, Christ is the command within us, the command written on our hearts (Heb. 8:10). If we live by Him, He will increase, and we will decrease (John 3:30).  There is no other way to take the land.

Israel couldn’t maintain the land they conquered unless they increased their numbers and had sufficient population to hold the territory they acquired.  That’s partly why the Lord told them they wouldn’t take the land all at once.  They could only take it by growing into it.

Similarly, Christ must increase in us if He is to conquer all that is in our souls.  Christ must grow and gradually push out the adamic inhabitants within.  That is the pattern of God: we don’t purge ourselves of evil so that Jesus has space to grow.  Jesus edges out His enemies in us as He increases enough to occupy new ground.

How do we live by Christ, the command within? We trust Him. Galatians 2:20 says, ”I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Where does this verse say the Son of God is? Paul says, ”Christ lives in me.” He lived by faith in *this* Son of God, not a Son of God who was separate from him in heaven.

Under the old covenant, we kept the commands. Under the new covenant, Christ our command keeps us—and increases in us—as we rely on His indwelling life.

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