Monday, November 2, 2009

Living The Crucified Life

The life of a follower is a sacrificial one. We don’t get to lead. We don’t get to make up the rules. We don’t even get to decide where we go or what we do.

This might sound extremely scary if you’re a control freak like me. I like to make sure everything goes as planned. I’m a planner by nature. It came with the birthing process. My Mother has always been a woman with a plan. “Make a list!” was her favorite phrase. So I learned it in utero, planning equals success.

To let go and let Jesus lead has been the hardest thing for me. I like making the rules. I like being in charge. I like to see how a plan is going to turn out before I strike out on an adventure. Not know the outcome? Are you kidding?

Not kidding! With Jesus, he may not always think we need to know all the details of His plan. He may not give us the final outcome. We are to trust, have faith. Not in the outcome but in Him.

We are to live a life that is crucified. We must die to self in order to really live. We have to lay aside our own need to control, our selfish desires and our fleshly lusts. In return we get peace. We get joy, even in the midst of trial.

John 12:24-25: "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."

What happens to a grain of wheat if it does not go in the ground and die? If the wheat dies in the ground what does it produce?

Jesus tells the Greeks what has to happen to a grain of wheat for it to produce much grain. We are to learn an important lesson from this explanation. If a grain of wheat does not die, it remains alone, dead. But if it goes into the ground and dies, it will produce more grain.

We are the grain of wheat. We must die to our old self, to our own fleshly desires and live a life abiding in Christ. If we choose to follow and abide in Christ, we will produce more grain for eternal glory. If we remain in our old selves instead, we will die alone, with no fruit for eternity. The gain we receive is eternity in heaven with God.

“He who loves his live will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” What does this mean? If we love our life we will lose it? But if we hate our life in this world we will keep it for eternal life? Confusing?

What Jesus trying to get across here is that when we decide to go our own way and live life not following him, we will get only this life here on earth. This is our reward. The eternal reward is not given to us. Instead we reap the eternal justice we deserve. We are condemned to life without God in hell. But when we choose to die to self and follow Jesus, we gain the eternal reward of life with God in heaven. Is life here, doing our own thing more important or is eternity?

Galatians 2:20 -"I have been crucified with Christ; 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 for me."

Galatians 5:24 - And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

I have been crucified with Christ, I don’t live any longer. It is Christ who lives in me. First of all, can you honestly say that Jesus Christ lives in you? If not, that comes first. Asking him to come live in you is the first order of business for you. Once that is done, your life here on this earth is as a follower. It is now a life of faith, one that is to be dead to our own passions and desires. We are to be about our Fathers business like Jesus was.

We are to crucify, or in other words, to kill our own worldly desires and instead be filled with the desires that Jesus was filled with. We are to be about the things that Jesus would have us be about. It is no longer about our own thoughts and desires. It is about His desires for our life.

To be crucified we are no longer:
Arguing with God about His plan for our life
Making excuses for our sin
Trying to get our own way
Telling God what He should do
Rationalizing our behavior
Taking our own path or direction
Running ahead of God

We die to our own will, dreams, goals, wants, plans, rights and desires. When we follow Jesus we walk in His Spirit. Verse twenty five in Galatians five says “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” When we decided to ask Jesus Christ to enter our life he gave us a gift. That gift was the Holy Spirit.

We as disciples of Jesus have the Holy Spirit living within us. The holy presence of God lives inside of us. So if we live in the Spirit and it lives in us we should walk in that Spirit. But we will leave that topic for another day.

Today, let’s finish as we should always do. Let us pray.


Let our life be a crucified one. Let us be pleasing in your sight. Let our desires be your desires. We want a life that glorifies you. A life that is set apart and shines a light in darkness. Change us to the image of Christ and help us to walk in the Spirit you have given us.

In Jesus name I pray,

1 comment:

Carol said...

Excellent post! I like how you put things. Concise, easy to understand, and you gave examples. :)