I was raised in evangelical Christianity with an emphasis on the outward behavior.  We used phrases such as – Jesus coming into your heart, Inviting Christ to come in, and living the Christian life.  I heard sermons on the way that Jesus is there through our life and gives us so many things – strength, hope, peace, love, direction, etc.  Scriptures were memorized such as Galatians 2:20 and Romans 8:9,10 with whole-hearted agreement to the truth that the old man has passed away and we are a new creation.  Yet I heard people who had been Christians for years refer to their God as something and someone out in the great cosmic void who comes and helps us out when we pray hard and do His will.  I agreed with all the theologies which said that my life is not my own and everything I have and am belongs to God.  I said alot of things, but my life was a different story.

Often, the truth brings perspective and actually illuminates, in greater detail, the lie that has perpetuated areas you never recognized.  As the revelation of the reality of the indwelling Christ as the only life that I now live began to dawn, I started to view so many aspects of my Christian life from a totally different paradigm.  So many of the belief systems I had tried to pin my hopes on were dashed by the truth that I could no longer be the reference point.  In the realm of the Kingdom of God, I am not the point of reference and will never be.  To live as though something else was true, placed me in a posture of deception and illusion.  It was easy to believe that I was responsible to maintain some sort of spiritual development when I was living a life that God would help out with now and then.  The truth that I am only a vessel – human and earthen – leaves no room for my suggestions on how this life should look or how I should arrange my destiny.

It is true that God is omnipresent – everywhere always.  It is also true that it is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me.  The life that I live now I live by the faith OF Jesus Christ.  I can’t even hold my faith up as a necessary part of this process.  Without the faith OF Jesus, I am lost, alone, and unable to fulfill the purpose for which I was created. 

To say that Christ was my life – that He actually owned all that I had in my posession, that my body was His to use, that my talents were His to flow through – this was an ideal that had no substance.  The responsibility for all the things that I said belonged to Him was still a responsibility I held and actually tried to excel in.  My faithfulness in following Jesus was wrapped up in how well I carried out the plans that I had made (hopefully He would help me out if there was a need).  I already knew where my paycheck would go once it was in my bank account, for I had set up my life in such a way that I was pretty sure I could usually cover the expenses of my life with the supply that came.  Oh, yes, I said the supply came from God, but it was still to be used at my discretion and according to my preconceived ideas about how I wanted my life to look.  I wasn’t very open to a drastic change in where the supply came from, how secure the supply was or what I felt I had to do to maintain the supply.

Today, I am listening more intently to what I say.  I don’t believe God is limited to joining me in my work as I pursue some great plan to live for Him.  I long to speak and live with the expectation that the life of Christ within me will be lived out through me.  I don’t need to beg Him to step in and help me – He is doing the work.  I don’t have to worry for protection, supply, or even direction.  He surrounds me, has within Himself all things that will ever be needed and has promised that He is faithful to complete what He has begun.  I can say with assurance that my life is not my own and live each day of my life as though it is actually true.  What freedom and joy is on that pathway!

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