I really liked this from T.A. Sparks, trying to live as a believer apart from recognizing that what Jesus prayed for in John 17, “Father I pray that they will be one as we are one, you in me, me in you, us in them, has been fulfilled when you were received of the Father~”He that is joined to the Lord, is one spirit.”
Whatever way you prefer to put it, supernaturally natural, or naturally supernatural, we are living out in this world Christ in us as us, and we are definitely not trying to imitate Jesus.
From: The Risen Lord and the Things Which Cannot be Shaken - Chapter 6
The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2).
We speak about natural laws. What are natural laws? Take the law of nourishment. Provided that law is complied with, honoured; and at the right time the body is given what it needs, not more, not less, the law of nourishment deals with that and quite spontaneously works out in development, growth, to express itself in various ways. It is the working of a natural law spontaneously. You do not sit down with the law, and watch it, and worry about it. What you do is to feed yourself, and leave all the rest to the law. If you violate the law you know all about it, but acting rightly in relation to the law you will not be fretting all day long about the law of nourishment, you will simply be taking your meals and getting on with your work. The result is that you are able to work, able to go on; you are nourished.
The law of the Spirit of Life in Christ is like that. It is a law of Life, and it works out in a practical way when respected and honoured. It works out spontaneously in certain directions. It has its own results quite naturally. The law of the Spirit of Life in Christ is that law by which we become aware. That is the simplest way of putting things. The Lord Jesus knew that at a certain time He could not act, could not speak; He had no movement of the Spirit in quickening, no Life so to do at that time; in His spirit there was no movement of Life; the law was not active in the positive way. But when the Father, Who knew what was required in speech or action, saw that the time had come, He did not bend down and speak with an audible voice into His ear, and say, Now is the time! Say this! Do that! He simply quickened Him inwardly. The law of Life became active in that direction, and He knew by an inward quickening what the mind of God was. That is what Paul means when he says, "The mind of the Spirit is Life."
I wanted to include the following as an after thought that fits so well with what Sparks has said in the above. It's from the book, Christ-Esteem (Where the Search For Self-Esteem Ends).
"It is very important for our understanding and experience of the Christian life that we recognize that all Christian benefits, gifts, and fruit are found in the person of Jesus Christ who dwells within us. They belong to Jesus, not to us. As a result of various movements and emphases within the church, Christian consciousness often becomes directed at various spiritual pursuits. Some Christians go after inner, mystical experiences. Others attempt to discover their spiritual gifts or want to learn how to speak in tongues or to heal people. Many Christians today are pursuing prosperity or success as a characteristic by-product of being a Christian. Sanctification is desired as a reflection of individual personal holiness and morality. This separation of the content of the Christian life and the experience from the person of Jesus Christ is no small matter! It will inevitably lead into numerous distortions such as humanism, mysticism, occultism, or legalism."
"Our focus is not to be directed at spiritual gifts and blessings but at the person of Jesus Christ. If we desire the forgiveness of sins and a righteousness that is acceptable to God, God gives us Jesus. If we seek peace, joy, and love, God gives us Jesus. If we desire comfort in the midst of sorrow, hope when things look hopeless, assurance when plagued by doubt, and contentment through the changing scenes of life, God gives us Jesus.
All spiritual gifts are simply manifestations of the new life of Christ dwelling with us, manifested spontaneously as we walk in the Spirit by directing our consciousness unto Jesus.
The theme of the letter of Paul to the Colossians is the centrality of Jesus Christ. The substance of the Christian faith, according to the apostle Paul, is found in the person and work of Christ. He warns the Colossians against seeking spiritual substance outside of Christ.
"See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men's ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world), just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ (the Messiah).
Therefore let no one sit in judgment on you in matters of food and drink, or with regard to a feast day or a New Moon or a Sabbath.
Let no one defraud you by acting as an umpire and declaring you unworthy and disqualifying you for the prize, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, taking his stand on visions [he claims] he has seen, vainly puffed up by his sensuous notions and inflated by his unspiritual thoughts and fleshly conceit."