The other day my friend Bruce made a comment on my post and I want to join him in his clarification. I think the point he made is vital and an amazing element to the Life of Christ in me reality. Do I lose me when Christ is me? Is my person eliminated in this transaction? Do I cease to exist because He now is my life? If you have never had these thoughts, indulge me as I walk this path. But if you have, let me express what I have learned of this dilemma. Here is Bruce’s comment:
“Not only did Jesus come to save us, He came to be us.” I know what you mean by this, and I agree! However, just for clarification… Jesus never lost His identity in the context of His Father. Even at the end He said, “Not MY will, but YOUR will…” The Father never displaced Jesus; but Jesus, for the love of His Father, willingly surrendered His own desires and ambitions to fulfill His Father’s desires and ambitions. “YOUR Kingdom come, YOUR will be done” was always His choice.
Lose My Life
Over my life the Lord has placed a banner. It’s the scripture, “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39). This was the first Word I knowingly learned from Him and it’s a word that has preeminently threaded itself through every aspect of my life. It was as if the Lord was setting a specific theme upon my life. When I was but a three-and-a-half-year-old child, He was saying to me that this was the choice I would have to make throughout my life. And I have over and over rejected and accepted this calling throughout the course of my life, as we all do.
Now that I’m almost 50 years old, I can look back and see everywhere the Lord was presenting that choice to me. It wasn’t like it was a threat or ultimatum, rather it was His excited invitation to me. “Your life lived is a loss, but My Life found as your life is true Life.” It wasn’t a punishment, as if I was losing something valuable. Quite the contrary, I was being liberated from a weight of slavery to live in His glorious Life. “Lose what has made you lost and find That which will save you.” My lost life is a loss of everything, and my found Life is the gaining of everything.
The Call to Lose My Life
My call from the beginning (and I would say this is for all of us) was to exchange my life—mine for His. His desire was to give me the best by delivering me from the worst. Again, it’s not a punishment, belittling, or abuse to lose what is killing you; rather it is the call to enter His eternal, everlasting glory.
Did I lose my personality with this loss of life? Absolutely! Did I lose my personhood? Absolutely not! There’s a big difference between my personality and my personhood. A personality changes according to source of life. If I live for myself and in my personality, whether good or bad, it’s devilish. But if I live in Him, my life is spiritual, a journey of knowing and experiencing Him. Personalities are fickle and can evolve and manifest based on circumstances and situations. Often fears drive our personalities but my unique, individual personhood is God-given. Personhood is my uniquely created self in the image of God.
What the Christ in Me Will Look Like
My Life and personhood are for ONE thing: my yes to Christ. This is the intended purpose. My expression of living is to say yes to His life. How His life will express itself through me is unique and individual, but the source of the life is intended to still be Christ. My individuality isn’t lost, it’s expressed and uniquely manifested as He chooses to live.
Your identity is like the identity of a house. It’s where the homeowner lives, but it is not in itself the homeowner. Our uniqueness reflects the homeowner, but again, it’s not the homeowner. The life is inside. The shell is unique but just a container.
So, did Christ unplug me when He came to be me? Am I no longer present in me because now it is only Christ? No. Christ in me is we. We are in union. I am born again into a New Creature who is He and me. This is the paradox. I am both in the heavens and in my body with Him. It’s a mystery, as Paul says! The mystery of the Gospel is Christ in me, my hope of glory. It isn’t cut and dry and linear; it’s more circular. And while I understand this in part, as far as my finite brain can understand it, the complete reality is so beyond reason and understanding.
More of this on Thursday…