Okay, let me wade through a bit of muck to get to a redemptive Son-shiny bank on a heavenly shore. I renounce my life! What do I mean by this? I renounce my struggle to be my life’s expression and the source of life.
“Me” as the source of life has been nothing but pain. In my struggles to live this life on my own, I’ve prolonged my pain and failure as well as inflicted pain on others. My life as source makes me a continually emerging parasite – a wiggling worm of festering purpose, looking for a host. That’s all I can be in my struggle to live this life. The reason is…flesh is putrid!
I renounce my parasitic flailing. I reject the fruitless deeds of self-determination. At my best, I’m still malignant. My highest expression is still just earthly, temporal, and more likely than not, destructive.
All this said, I will not entertain self-hatred. That would be really easy, and has actually been my pattern. I see the results of living life from SELF and I get depressed, defeated and woebegone. Oh, the drama I could muster by the fact that I am just a worm. I could condemn my condition and give way to a big, fleshy display, but I will not! I won’t give my flesh a platform to speak. Self-hatred is just flesh’s frustration with its anointed failure. Anointed, I say? Yes, our flesh is ordained for failure (more about this on the shore below).
The only valuable Life lived in my form and frame is the resurrected life of Christ—His Life, not mine. On my own, I’m like an open grave, just a dark hole in the earth. But as Christ emanates from my vessel, so does His resurrected Life. Just as He rose from the tomb before ascending to the Father, now He emerges from within me to BE LIFE. Christ’s Life, in my life, is the Father’s Life and Purpose on the earth. It’s only Christ’s Life, as my life, which has eternal value and supreme expression. His Life is heavenly!
When Christ walked this earth, He did nothing that didn’t originate from the Father. He performed no task on this earth from His own will. Jesus and the Father were one; there was no independent expression in any of His actions. This being the case, why would He now expect me to do what He Himself was unwilling to do? Why would He ask me to wield this deadly weapon of self-expression? He doesn’t!
Here’s the good news. Adam’s failure was a success! The Father wasn’t thrown off His game by man’s fall. He didn’t scurry about with plan B after Eden. All of manhood has to crash. We’re ordained to do so that the Life of the Son will come forth. Adam had to fail so that Christ might be glorified as the only Life. We, too, are successful failures. We are called to fail, because we can do nothing other than fail on our own. Our failures don’t have to be a day of our defeat, but can be a day of His victory. We were destined for failure to know our need for His success. Crazy, huh? My failure is an invitation to let Him succeed.
If I could do this life in my own strength, what need would I have of God? I certainly wouldn’t humbly come and ask for His Life in exchange for my death. I’d walk up to the front of the stage and pick up my gold medal. You’d get a chance to see it, because I would show everyone on this earth. That would be my sole job – polishing my medal and touring to show YOU! But that is not the prize I’m to get. My prize is that Christ has chosen to use me to bring forth His Life.
If you know you’re a huge failure, if you have done everything wrong, if your list of defeats buries you beneath a weight of shame, then renounce your life alongside me. Let Christ rise from the pile of your ashes and live a Life that’s eternal, impactful, and pleasing to the Father. Whether you have 5 days, 5 years or 50 years left to let His Life shine, He can and will bring forth the Will of the Father and impact your world for eternity.
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
* For more on this topic check out November’s Message of the Month “Christ for Life!“