Upwardly Dependent » walking the delicate balance of absolute truth and overwhelming grace.

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Lord, Take My Life

The words I’ve been crucified with Christ have been scribbled on my bathroom mirror for about six months now.

Expo markers and bathroom mirrors are a beautiful combination when I’m wanting to focus on a particular thought, verse, or prayer. Apparently I look at myself a lot.

So every morning {or afternoon or whenever I decide to apply mascara}, I have a friendly reminder that I do not live for myself. It’s Christ that 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.

The hubs and I were reading through Galatians 2:20 again yesterday and it struck us differently than it ever has – particularly the ending.

Who gave himself for ME.

Jesus’ death on the cross brought us life. It gives us hope and renews our souls. But what if it’s even more than that?

Maybe the crucifixion is about teaching us how to lay down our own lives.

For a long time, I think I’ve viewed this move to Asia as my ultimate life sacrifice.

When I give up my home, fancy clothing and cars, THEN God will be pleased with me.
When I share Good News with another culture, THEN God will be pleased with me.
When I move away from my family and friends, THEN God will be pleased with me.

I thought I would go do this Big Thing and then, five years later, I would be off the hook to come live the American Dream.

I’m afraid I was so wrong.

How many times will I fall into the trap of thinking I can work my way to Heaven? I can never DO enough to please God. He’s just way too good for me to ever look like anything special.

He is freeing me from a life of works. He is teaching me that it’s not about what I do for Him.

I’m learning that it’s all about what I’m BECOMING.

Christ was so perfect in his Heavenly State. He was worthy of praise just because he WAS. He didn’t have to prove anything to anybody.

But he was obedient to his Father.

God asked His son to be humbled and broken. He asked him to become lower than the angels. He asked him to be stripped and spit on, humiliated and lonely.

He asked him to be rejected.

But I don’t think God would call me to be uncomfortable? To drive an older car or to forgive someone who says something mean?

I don’t think God would want me to be unhappy?

My fears are so immature. My ways are so much lower than His ways.

The crucifixion wasn’t just about saving me from my sins. It was about teaching me to lose my own life.

If Christ had refused to come to Earth, maybe some people would feel the need to praise him. Maybe someone would call out to him for salvation.

But because he laid down his life for us, people have been talking about him for centuries.

Entire nations were built on his name. Families have been redeemed. The lost have found hope. Sinners have been called blessed.

Human sacrifice leads people to worship.

I have nothing to give. No special gift or talent that has the power to save.

But where Christ’s sacrifice meets my ultimate need, I am given the opportunity to reach others in my salvation.

It’s like the shape of the cross was completely intentional.

Christ’s vertical model of crucifixion for me intersects my horizontal mission of self-sacrifice for others.

What I used to see as one grand life obedience event, I now see as a tiny stepping-stone in my walk of faith.

It’s not about doing. It’s about becoming.

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. – 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

I don’t want to live for myself. But I am so weak.

Honestly, I fear where God will ask me to go in the future. I’m nervous about what He’ll ask me to do. And I’m ashamed of the unrighteousness He will reveal in me.

But it’s not about doing. It’s about becoming.

He has the ability to save, if I am only willing to teach others about His love. He has the capacity to heal, if I can only show others where to turn.

He has the ultimate power to transform lives, if I am only willing to sacrifice mine.

I don’t want to get in the way of that ultimate power. I don’t want to keep the God of the universe from reaching His people.

I have such a long way to go. I am so far from being a true disciple.

If Christ could give up his life for me, surely I can lay down my earthly comforts for him.

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Lord, take my life and let it be all for you and for your glory. Take my life and let it be Yours.

{Photo: Zipporah Kapambwe}

 

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