Monday, July 23, 2012

What Does That Mean?

Years ago, before i moved where i am now, i was a member of the "Sisters in Song" vocal group at my church. This was a time in my life that my relationship with Jesus was growing by leaps & bounds. I had been raised in a Christian family, but had allowed myself to be led astray. I learned that i needed Jesus in my life. And i still thank God for never taking me for granted, especially when i was taking Him for granted. Easter season, our "Sisters in Song" performed "Embrace the Cross" written by Steve Green. The intro to this song was from Galatians 2:20
"I am crucified with Christ,
therefore I no longer live.
Jesus Christ now lives in me."
Well, this intro  has run through my head for years. And usually at just the right time. (And still, another example of God's perfect timing. He is so good at that!) But, you know, i never really thought about what it means to be "crucified with Christ". I was mostly praising that "Jesus Christ now lives in me". Recently, my morning devotions brought me the entire verse from Galatians.

"I have been crucified with Christ & I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me & gave himself for me." (NIV)

So, i got to thinking about what "crucified with Christ" really means. Basically, we die to our wants & wishes. Instead, we have peace in the knowledge that God wants what is good for us. It's like we may want a big piece of cake, but God will give us an apple. It's the peace in the knowledge that God will protect us when we give Him control of our life.

When we're "crucified with Christ" we need to also check our time with God. Not so much the quantity, but the quality. Think about it. Do you spend time telling God what you want or what you think He needs to do? Instead, try asking God what He wants & what He needs from you. Sit quietly until you hear Him speak to your heart. He will do that!

Paul says in Romans 12:1(b)
"to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy & pleasing to God--this is your true & proper worship."  (NIV)

I am still working on this one. Sometimes, i am a bit reluctant sacrifice. And i'm sure that i'm not alone here. Sometimes, i walk enthusiastically in obedience & sometimes, i dig in my heels. There are times that my face doesn't reflect the joy of Jesus, but reflects a scowl of stress & frustration. And too often i don't approach God humbly, but with stubborn guilt. And that's when i most need to come to Him humbly.

To be "crucified with Christ" & be a living sacrifice, we need to take on the attitude of servant. And, we need to do what God asks of us in all aspects of our early life. 

Here is a wonderful rendition of the song "Embrace the Cross". Please listen to it with your heart.