“Every now and then we come across a life that is radiant, …revealing a richness, a warmth, a triumph that intrigues and challenges us. We typically find these lives in biographies out of the past. But, just when we begin to think that such people lived only in other days, we meet one in real life! …right in our own time!
The details of their experiences may vary greatly. As we listen to their stories and observe their lives, either in our reading or in our contact with them, we begin to see a pattern emerge that reveals their secret. Out of discouragement and defeat they have come into victory. Out of weakness and weariness they have been made strong. Out of ineffectiveness and apparent uselessness they have become efficient and enthusiastic.
The pattern seems to be: self-centeredness, …self-effort, …increasing inner dissatisfaction and outer discouragement,… a temptation to give it all up, because there seems to be no better way; …and then, finding the Spirit of God to be their strength, their guide, their confidence and companion — in a word, their life.
The crisis of the deeper life is the key that unlocks the secret of their transformation. It is the beginning of the exchanged life.
What is the exchanged life? Really, it is not some thing; it is some One. It is the indwelling of the Lord Jesus Christ made real and rewarding by the Holy Spirit.
There is no more glorious reality in all the world. It is life with a capital “L”. It is new life in exchange for old. It is rejoicing for weariness, ….and radiance for dreariness. It is strength for weakness, and steadiness for uncertainty. It is triumph, even through tears. It is tenderness of heart, instead of touchiness. It is humility, instead of self-exaltation. It is loveliness of life because of the presence of the altogether Lovely One.
Adjectives can be multiplied to describe it: …abundant, …overflowing, …overcoming, …all-pervading, …satisfying, …joyous, …victorious; and each describes only one aspect of a life that can be experienced, but not fully-explained.
The Savior said: “I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (Jn. 10:10). We find newness of life in Christ by receiving Him as our own Savior from the penalty of sin. We can find abundance of that life by surrendering self and drawing on the unfailing resources of the Almighty. There is life; and then there is life more abundant. This is the exchanged life.”
— V. Raymond Edman