Stop Living in Defeat and Condemnation

Thursday, November 17, 2022

When I was writing Indwelling Life, I sensed that some who really took these truths to heart would experience personal revival. I know that was true for me. I feel like writing this book changed my life. Not because of anything that I wrote, but by the truths of God’s Word.

So, this in mind, I asked a couple of people in our Forerunner School to share their testimony of how Indwelling Life has impacted them. Below is a testimony from Malika Hayden.

Over the last five years, I have been trying to live the abiding life—really going all out. I am trying to live in His presence. And because I have a job where I only have to work on weekends, I pretty much got into God’s presence all day long. It’s what I would do during the week—literally living life in His presence. I was spending hours waiting on Him all day long—fasting, praying, and meditating. This has been my life pretty much since 2017.

But I was still living in constant defeat and in condemnation. Whether not measuring up to God’s holiness or allowing the anxieties of life to affect me. This would tend to break my connection with the Lord. My entire focus was wanting to live in unbroken intimacy with Jesus, but I was struggling so much.

For example, I even wrote to somebody and asked them how is it even possible to live my whole life in God’s presence, yet still struggle so much with condemnation and sin, such as envy or selfishness. I thought I’m not being transformed. I’m still selfish. And I didn’t understand it.

But last year, the Lord showed me exactly what you wrote in Indwelling Life on page 61. Below is an excerpt:

Do you know what’s wrong with you? If you have any self-awareness, humility, and honesty, my hunch is you could create a rather lengthy list of sins, faults, and shortcomings. I certainly could. But here’s an even more probing question, not often asked. Do you know what is right with you?

Let me push pause and explain what I don’t mean. I am not referring to self-help psychology and becoming a better version of you. Nor do I mean standing in front of a mirror and saying out loud, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.” I don’t mean psychobabble affirmations focused on yourself.

Instead, I mean, Do you know what’s right with you because Christ dwells within you? Do you know what’s right with you because He has transformed your spirit?

In my long journey of learning to live by Christ’s indwelling life, I can’t even count how many books I have read and messages I have heard that focused on what’s wrong with me. I am a sinner. I am selfish. My flesh is wicked. I am proud, rebellious, and independent. The list goes on.

Guess what? I already knew this about myself. I bet you already know this about yourself as well.

What I didn’t know was the treasure of Christ in me and how He had transformed my spirit. When I discovered this, it was a game changer. My life was transformed. And here’s what I realized: Focusing on what’s wrong paralyzes you but focusing on what’s right propels you.

Like you said, I had to stop focusing on what’s wrong with me and instead start focusing on Christ in me. I was trying to live perfect because perfection was my goal.

Intellectually, I knew this, but it’s been a journey for me to come to the place of realizing it by revelation. I had to learn to avoid perfectionism and condemnation by keeping my focus upon Christ in me.

For me, this book Indwelling Life is literally everything. I’m so grateful that God has used you to write this book because literally for me this (living by Christ’s indwelling life) is everything.

And I’ll tell you one revelation that literally has impacted me so much in the last few days.

I had this moment where I was trying to live the abiding life and then I realized this is what I’ve been doing wrong. I realized, in my mind, I was always visualizing Jesus beside me. But I wouldn’t focus on Him inside of me. So, when I was struggling, I would always look for Him beside me—that was always my mental picture.

What hit me—and you wrote about it in Indwelling Life—is how you loved Emmanuel, the revelation of Christ with us. But there’s a greater truth and that’s Christ in us.

As I was reading and meditating on this, revelation came to me. And I experienced the Holy Spirit, His manifest presence. And I thought, “Wow, that’s so cool!” It hit me that Christ was in me not just with me.

Today, I was having a battle. Suddenly anxiety came over me and I had that sick, horrible feeling in my stomach. And I intentionally focused on Christ in me. In literally a matter of minutes, that horrible feeling of anxiety that comes into your chest and your throat or your stomach was replaced by a supernatural joy. I couldn’t stop smiling. It was completely supernatural. It only took one or two minutes of focusing on Christ within me. It was like the victory was won.

Experiential revelation of Christ in you is the difference between sadness and joy.

I just feel like every single believer, as soon as they get saved—instead of going through seven years of trauma, struggle, and craziness—should immediately read Indwelling Life.

For more information, check out Indwelling Life on Amazon.

Bryan Kessler