World Conference 2023

Is Christ in You?

26 March 2023

By Robin Linkhart, Council of Twelve Apostles

But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. …But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

Romans 8:9–11 NRSV

One week before Lent I opened Carla’s email. She had devotions at our next team meeting. Her email mapped out daily reflections to help us get in touch with our lives, our actions, our bodies, and our spirits—to make space for God. Our daily prayer phrase was, “Open me to receive more of you.”

A few days later an envelope with ashes arrived, marked “Do not open.” Our meeting was set for Ash Wednesday on Zoom.

I was just a few days into the devotion preparation when I attended a retreat breakout session on discernment led by a seasoned seventy. Bill told his story of realizing he needed to look inward to go deeper in response to Christ’s call. He shared how he began the hard work of introspection, integrating spiritual practices and learning to listen to God and to others. “I made the decision to talk less and listen more.”

It had been ten years since he took the first steps on that path; but as he shared, it felt new, fresh, and life-giving. His whole face glowed, and the timbre of his voice communicated beyond words the depth of transformation he had experienced then and each day since.

“It changed everything,” he testified.

In my mind’s eye I began seeing images of people I knew who lived and glowed like that. My Gram, whose face lit up whenever she talked about Jesus and often told me, “Listen with your heart, Robbie. That’s where God whispers.” The deacon who didn’t drive but rode his bicycle regardless of weather, arriving early and staying late to joyfully care for the needs of the body so all could fully receive the spiritual food of our church gatherings. My homeless friend who used extra money that came his way to buy groceries and prepare food for those who struggled more than he, because “that’s what Jesus did.”

Life in Christ draws us inward that we might fully live outward. God asks for our heart because the world needs our whole life. “Jesus, the peaceful One, open me to receive more of you; it changes everything.”

Prayer Phrase


Spiritual Practice

Breathe deeply and repeat the word “courage” in the silence. Notice how you respond in body, mind, and spirit. Practice the feeling of spiritual strength, of stretching beyond what is comfortable and familiar. Bless the feelings that are evoked. Breathe again. Trust that you have everything you need to follow the Spirit in the places where courage is required today.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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