Some days I donâ€™t like you eavesdropping on my conversations with the Lord. Perhaps I want to put up a stained glass masquerade, even though I try to be a man of integrity in all things. Nevertheless, as this ministry has grown Iâ€™ve learned to be obedient to the Lordâ€™s call and so here we go again.
There are days where Iâ€™ve gotten over Christâ€™s love for me. What I mean, is the fact Jesus loves me doesnâ€™t always overwhelm me. Iâ€™m thankful for the knowledge and truth, but some days Iâ€™m not overwhelmed. Yesterday was one of those days.
I was driving home from work, tired from a long day and debating whether I wanted to go to our menâ€™s Bible study and First Monday supper. I know me turning down a free meal is definitely out of character. Anyway Iâ€™m listening to K-LOVE on my radio and Chris Tomlinâ€™s song â€œJesus Loves Meâ€ comes on.
I cannot tell you why, but at that particular moment I found the song very annoying. I started become extremely critical in my heart and mind that I finally shut off the radio. Please understand that I am a huge Chris Tomlin fan, but I guess I was too focused on how I wanted to finish out the day to enjoy the song.
And youâ€™ll never guess what happened this morning. Thatâ€™s right, I woke up with it playing in my head. Not in an annoying way, but a soothing and soul-searching way. I remembered what our pastor said last night about how things canâ€™t bother you when youâ€™re dead and then he shared this very familiar verse:
â€œFor to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.â€ (Philippians 1:21)
When I die to myself, things of this world will not bother me. Key among those things not bothering me will be me. My petty annoyances contrived in my own mind will no longer consume me. I will have gotten over myself.
Dying is counterintuitive to human nature. Spiritual death is a work of the Holy Spirit through our surrendering to Jesusâ€™ lordship. When I allow the Spirit of God to have preeminence in my life, I have died to myself. I am dying to live. All I do should be for the sake of the call Christ has on my life:
â€œFor if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lordâ€™s.â€ (Romans 14:8)
Victory in the Christian life is losing control over my life. I have to let go and let God, to use an old Christian clichÃ©. ClichÃ© or not, my life is not my own. When I became a disciple of Christ, I turned over the rights to myself and became a child of God. I have made a conscious decision to live a life pleasing to God and in obedience to His Word.
I donâ€™t get to pick and choose when I feel like being a Christian. When I do that, I am resuscitating my old life and trying to live both lives. That is when I suffer spiritual and emotional conflict. I become who I used to be while trying to be who I should be. Turmoil begins when I try to live my life pleasing to manâ€™s expectations, including my own, instead of dying to myself.
â€œTherefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulationsâ€”â€˜Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,â€™ which all concern things which perish with the usingâ€”according to the commandments and doctrines of men?â€ (Colossians 2:20-22)
The commandments and doctrines of men do not control my life. I obey manâ€™s laws as long as they are not contrary to Godâ€™s laws. However, if man calls on me to be disobedient to God, then I must refuse even onto death. My life is not my own and I do not get to choose how it ends. My desires and fears cannot rule the day; I must be obedient my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
One of the simplest ways to incorporate that into my every day life is to stop focusing on me and keep my eyes on Jesus and His church. The wonderful thing is, when I do that, all my fatigue and foolish fetishes disappear and the beauty of the Lord shines in and through me.
When I do that the lyrics from Chrisâ€™ song ring true in my life:
I stepped out of the dark
And into the light
When He called my name
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Copyright Â© 2015 David Jeffers