Humans by nature love to define and confine other humans. “Just be a sheep like me!” It makes us feel safe when those around us are like us. “If your sheep coat smells like my sheep coat, then I must be OK.” Yet when we do this, we stymie individuality and actually the flow of the Spirit. The fact is, we aren’t safe in our sameness; our only safety rests in being in the will of God and Spirit filled.
Why Don’t You Be a Christian Sheep Like Me
It’s just common. We like what we are familiar with, even if that similarity is dysfunctional. Call it being creatures of habit, but change and newness tends to scare us. The true experience of life, however, is found in dependence on God and allowing Him to define my person. Imagine, my Creator knows my design better than others or even myself. You see, I’m not promoting being a maverick, I’m contending for His Life.
As we walk this globe, we have to fight for our God-given design. We have to fight because, unfortunately, every Tom, Dick, and Harry will attempt to clothe us with their ideas of who we should be. They will kindly attempt to convince us that their way is our best way. And if it’s not others attempting to mold me, then it is me sculpting myself. Something will always be pushing against God’s blueprint of me.
Christ’s Life in Me
I must remain committed to God’s design for my person. Though it is mine to discover, it’s not mine to define. How Christ wishes to express Himself through my life is the reality that will lead me into His glory. Sounds strange, huh? Just imagine, I experience glory when I’m witnessing Christ in me. The Bible says, “Christ in me is the hope of glory.” I get the privilege of witnessing His very life in the situations of my life. There’s nothing more practical in my Christian life than to see Him resolve issues and express Himself in my life, through my body. I contend that this is THE adventure of life. And this is why settling for anything less is a travesty.
Why would I rob myself of seeing Christ’s own life? Why would I allow others or even myself to limit my seeing of Him? Momentary comfort? Fleeting approval? Unity? If all of these aren’t found in the life of Christ they’re merely just momentary counterfeits. Christ’s Life is glory!
Sheep Like Me vs. Christ in Me
We have all experienced the push to conform – those be a sheep like me moments. Whether that conformity is called for by our families, or in our friendships, in our associations, or even from ourselves in the deep recesses of our subconscious mind. Very few people will ever support Christ in you. But Christ’s life as my life is the only life that will satisfy. This satisfaction isn’t only eternal, it is also practical and tangible in my daily reality. Christ in me isn’t only my hope of glory; it is my hope to experience the truest adventure of life.
Christ’s life was vilified, scandalized, and feared by most. And though the masses flocked to His miracles, how many wanted to snuggle up to the unpredictable nature of His person? Even Jesus’ closest followers were puzzled and dismayed by how the Father expressed Himself through Him. And this will be our experience too. If we allow Christ’s Life to be our life, our lives will be a magnet for the full spectrum of the responses He received.
Not a Rubberstamp
(Now it must be said that you can’t call every divergent flight of fancy “Christ’s life.” Just because you’re rejected and not received, you can’t rubberstamp it with the idea that people just aren’t open to Christ’s life. As I said in the beginning, it has to be God’s will and Spirit filled.)
Christ’s life will be the crushing of every willful, rebellious, self-saving bone in my body. But the reward of letting Jesus live my very life is to see Him and to experience His heart. His life as my life is my ringside seat to experiencing His eternal glory, NOW!
And my present life is not that of the old “I”, but the living Christ within me. The bodily life I now live, I live believing in the Son of God, who loved me and sacrificed Himself for me.
Galatians 2:20 Phillips
John, thank you for these beautiful, challenging truths, born of a life given. The voices of self and the world we live in are loud and demanding but “Christ’s life will be the crushing of every willful, rebellious, self-saving bone in my body.” How strangely encouraging! Yet that too is Christ in us, the hope of glory.
So pleased it is His Life He requires.
Love you Doug