By Theodore Epp
Paul referred to his relationship to the indwelling Christ when he wrote: "I am [have been] crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Gal. 2:20).
Thus, as Paul prayed for the Ephesians, he prayed that Christ might dwell in their hearts in the sense of being enthroned in their lives--that He might be truly at home, not just a guest.
He will be completely at home in our lives to the extent that He is truly Lord of our lives. When we received Him as Saviour, He came to permanently indwell us, but our need now is to put Him first in everything so that He will be at home in us.
When we come to this point, our desire will be the same as Paul's when he said, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death" (Phil. 3:10).
Notice that the place of Christ's dwelling is "in your hearts" (Eph. 3:17). Christ dwells in the inner man and desires to control the person He indwells.
Of course, Christ indwells every person who receives Him as Saviour, but this does not necessarily mean He is in control of the person's life.
In order for Christ to control our lives, we must give up the self-life--we must desire to please Him rather than ourselves. This means we will have to say no to our own desires when they conflict with His.
We will have victory in our lives only as we submit ourselves to the Lord and by faith live in dependence on Him. We must not underestimate the importance of denying ourselves when our desires conflict with His.
Jesus said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it" (Luke 9:23,24).
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" (Rev. 3:20).