Absolutely DO NOT read this post if you want to stay the same.
If you like where you are. Providing you are satisfied with your path.
Or if you are just looking to amass another merit badge on your good Christian life.
PLEASE, PLEASE don’t read this! Christ’s Life is My Life will disappoint.
Christ’s Life Versus My Life
This is the nuclear option: the first Adam and last Adam cannot cohabitate. We cannot have our fleshly cake and eat our spiritual life too. It is an either/or choice: Him or me. There is NO condemnation in this. It is our God-given choice. And believe me, there are very, very few who will ever deter us from the path the masses take. But just as long as we know which path we tread upon, there should be no shock about our consequences.
Fact: following Christ does not include giving CPR to my life. There’s a “do not resuscitate” tag on our corpse. That old man must die . . . or not. Again, it is our God-given RIGHT to make this choice. We are free to choose, but the reward of performing mouth-to-mouth on a long since dead person is at best, chapped lips and worst, ingestion of decay.
You might say, “But what about my fulfillment? What about my dreams coming true? I was told that one day my Barbie dream house would be a reality!” Well, it can. We can choose this if we want. We can chase after our fulfillment and our dreams, but unless they emanate from God, the King of Glory can’t be enthroned in us.
Christ’s Life As My Life
SO: What were we saved for?
What were we saved from?
What were we saved to?
Amazingly it wasn’t for OUR fulfillment. “But wait, I was told at the altar of my salvation that I would have life abundant!” Yes, this is true, but it’s not an abundance of YOU, it is His abundant life, an abundance of Christ Life. It will be, His abundant fulfillment, His abundant joy, His abundant satisfaction. It’ll be His glorified life. His offering to the Father. And His reward. HIM, not us!
Go ahead, cast me off. Dismiss me as off the mark. I, too, was once a part of the coursing rush of humanity that’s rejected this message from our origin. “But I want me, forget you!” That is the choice, one given to us with free-will. Will He be satisfied or will we? We will have satisfaction in Him, but it’s His, not ours. This is counter to most everything I hear preached and hence, this will be the most unpopular post EVER! But it’s the reality nonetheless.
You think I like this?
Do you think that because I say this I get a pass and my dreams remain intact? No, my original vision for my life has been crushed, annihilated, destroyed. All the years of seeking my own fulfillment was shipwrecked by saying “yes” to His Life. So am I left vanquished? NO! I am given TRUE, REAL LIFE. But it is not for me; it’s for Him.
The Gospel is not FOR me. Yes, I am the one saved, but I’m saved FOR Him. Awful, huh? Christ gave His life so I could follow Him. This is what it means to follow Jesus – Him not me. This is where the narrow way takes you. No, not in having all our relatives love and adore us finally, because someone should. Certainly not in getting that man/woman who will bring us unending happiness, to make up for poor parenting. Not in finally having our parent say they are proud of us, after a lifetime of rejection. Not in having a ministry that brings Him glory . . . oh and me too, right? Absolutely not in that lover that fills that deep hole inside . . . peace at last. Not in finally getting to let down that guard we’ve had up since being attacked.
The Liberating Nature of Christ’s Life
It’s not grace to let someone think they’re okay because they’ve now achieved some sort of soulish nirvana. I am not supposed to widen the berth to make people feel accepted and comfortable. Death is horrid, and that’s what is required. Christ died that I might live, not my own life, but that I might live together with Him (see 1 Thessalonians 5:10).
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live,
but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
Galatians 2:20 NASB
Emulation, that is still me!
Guidance, that’s still me!
Following (as effort), is still me!
It is NO longer I who live but Christ in ME.
This is the kindest thing I can say.
Amen on all the replies as well.
” All things were created by, through and for Him,…. that in all things He might have the preeminence”.
“… Called into the fellowship of the Son of God”.
Such a high calling, may our eyes be opened more and more to see this…
The Lord Jesus held nothing back where I am concerned, nothing. He gave it all. And it takes holding back nothing in return, nothing. That is the fellowship… We have a choice… He already made His…
The “do not resuscitate tag on our corpse” is a great visual, John. To choose Christ and count all else as loss; each morning, when we present our body and throughout the day countless times choosing Christ: “His offering to the Father.” Thank you, John; I will think on that.
Once I looked and I saw a dear group of people that kept on pointing their arrows to Jesus, again and again… But now, looking a little closer, I see something new… They ARE those very arrows… I don’t think I’m mistaken in sensing something has happened to you John… Your focus seems to have increased. You are more determined. Your meassage seems clearer and your voice, louder… Since your Christmas post, I have not been able to shake off the words “not FOR me…” Time and time again they wake me up, and I struggle… Not because I don’t… Read more »
John, thank you for sharing this–precious oil, pressed from your life in Christ. It shows Way, Truth, Life that, as you noted, is rarely part of our pop Christendom
[…] with this. But I do want to highlight this prevalent error in order to emphasize the points of my recent posts on the exchanged […]
[…] to action, we are motivated by gain for self. Even God set us up with reward as a principle. So in my last post I pulled the nuclear option: the first Adam and last Adam cannot cohabitate. So you might ask, […]
But John, I completely get you point.
Yes, it is “absolutely unpopular” to be reaching for something which is not “for” you in first instance.
The real gospel is unpopularity and solitude and a battle and enemies everywhere. The other thing is called Babylon or Egypt, and it is a market place.
I must learn to embraze His DEATH to the bone of me, a specific DEATH He carries along.
But you should not have said “unpopular post ever”, but “the very best good news ever.” Becouse, somehow, His death is the good news of my death.
May Your Word have it’s perfect work…
This is Truth!
The dead man has rest and peace.
In the paragraph about giving CPR to self, you paint an excellent word picture! It makes me smile, but also reveals the absurdity of my efforts to patch an old garment with new fabric: chapped lips and injesting decay! Holy Spirit is keeping me in Romans 6 no matter where I turn. Thank you for your continued faithfulness in speaking Truth to us. Jesus Is All.
wonderful life producing words …. thank you ….
there is often so much misunderstanding about “abundant life” ….it is very very good you have spelled it out so clearly …
resurrection is found on the OTHER side of the cross …
may your day by filled with surprise grace encounters!