What Substitutes Christ in Our Life as Seeking Believers Today?


What Substitutes Christ in Our Life as Seeking Believers Today? [see John 5:39]God’s children have been very much distracted from Christ as the center and the focus of their life. There are many things – even spiritual and scriptural things – that rise up in our being to replace Christ as the Preeminent One. There are so many things and matters that want to rob us from seeing and enjoying Christ. Recently I was impressed with at least four things that can distract us from Christ as the preeminent One.

1. Concepts, Doctrines, and Teachings

Good teachings, excellent doctrines  and sound concepts – no matter how scriptural and spiritual they are, if they are without Christ they become a substitute for Christ. You can teach certain doctrines and yet you may not have a personal relationship with the Person who is the center of these doctrines and the subject of the teachings!

It is so easy to be familiar with the doctrines and teachings, and it is so quick that these can become substitutes for Christ. We don’t need to hate or despise teachings, doctrines, or concepts – we rather need to give Christ the first place, and pay much more attention to Christ than to these things.

2. Different Ways of Practice

There are so many different ways of practicing the Christian life and the church life, and many of them are spiritual and Scriptural. Practices like reading the Bible or prayer, if they are taken as activities, they replace the living Christ in us. We read the Bible because we love the Lord Jesus in our spirit! We pray because Christ is praying in us – we merely join Him in His prayer!

May we not become like those exposed by the Lord in John 5:39, who searched the Scriptures and yet totally missed Christ, who has the eternal life. If we read the Bible without enjoying Christ, we miss the point, we miss the mark, and Christ is substituted “with a good practice”!

3. Various Activities and Movements

Men like movements, and human beings love to be involved in a lot of activities. Even after becoming a Christian, we want to be in a “Christian movement” and do a lot of activities “for the Lord”. But movements are from man, and they come and go. The Lord’s recovery is NOT a movement.

There are a lot of evangelical movements, Pentecostal movements, etc. but the local churches are NOT another kind of movement. We are here in the move of the Triune God Himself, the move of the wonderful One who lives inside of us and becomes one with us day by day!

The local churches are NOT “Watchman Nee and Witness Lee’s movement”. The local churches are in God’s move today, and they are not man’s work or doing. Stay away from movements and activities, and give Christ the preeminence, the first place!

4. Organization can Replace Christ

We don’t hate being organized, and we don’t despise order. But organization is hated by God. The Roman Catholic Church is a big organization, where everything is well arranged and organized, and there are specific layers of leaders appointed by men – whether you’ve been called by God or not, this is secondary.

Our God is a God of order, and we want to have order, but we are absolutely NOT for organization, a human system of organizing things and services in the church. We are not in an organization – we are members of the organism of God, the Body of Christ, something organic, something of the divine life.

Christ Needs to be Preeminent!

We need to see the subtlety of the enemy, who uses many things to take us away from Christ and distract us from taking Christ as our centrality and universality. Christ must fill our personal universe in every detail of our daily life! Is Christ involved in all your services and in all you do for Him? Is Christ your supply, your source, and your goal?

God’s final work today is that Christ’s preeminence would be restored among God’s people so that His corporate dwelling place may be rebuilt among men. He wants to build His church, His house, His temple, where He can dwell. We want that this Christ would fill our heart, our spirit, our daily life, and everything we do! When the day comes that Christ is our all in all, that will be the completion of God’s eternal purpose! God is working towards that purpose today – He desires to make Christ the preeminent One in us, and all in all to us!

Note: Picture credit: John 5:39. This portion is inspired from a recent sharing on, Christ as Everything for the Building of the Temple of God. Read the continuation of this article,

God’s Goal in His Eternal Economy is the Temple of God, His Corporate Building

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