In And Through
“I have been crucified with Christ and 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 and gave Himself for me” Galatians 2:20.
“Lord, I know I am saved. I love Jesus Christ. With all my heart I have wanted to serve You. I have tried my best but I am a failure.” Missionary Ian Thomas prayed these words after several years on the mission field. He said he had never before heard from the lips of man the reply that Christ made clear to him that night. “For 7 years with utmost certainty you have been trying to live for Me, on My behalf, the life that for 7 years I have been waiting to live through you.” Can you relate to Thomas’ feelings of desperation and failure? I certainly can. Sometimes the harder we “try,” the further off track we seem to drift. I believe the reason for this we don’t understand, practically in everyday dealings, the difference in living for Christ, and Christ living through us.
Several years ago a slogan shot to popularity among Christians: WWJD (What Would Jesus Do). The truth is, however, that WWJD is not Christianity. It is a question asked in the third person…as if Christ were somewhere else, sometime else. It sounds hypothetical in nature, like, “If Jesus was here, what would He do?” Christ is here, though…and we must remember this. Christianity asks, “What is Christ doing through me?” So what does this look like practically? Every challenge in life raises this same question: Will you try and handle it yourself, relying on your knowledge of God and the Scripture? OR, will you and Jesus tackle the crisis together?
If you choose to rely on your knowledge of God, what you know of His character and will from the Scriptures, you very well might make the right choice. But, will your relationship with Christ have deepened? Will you know Him better and love Him more? At times, we become so focused on doing what’s right, we forget that we are in a relationship…and we are following a Person, not a set of ethical precepts. If you choose to walk through each situation with Christ, you will see your intimacy with Him deepen as you live together with Him.
Think about your relationship with your husband or wife (if you are married). There are many tasks each week in our home and my marriage. What would happen to your relationship if you viewed your marriage only from the perspective of the tasks that must accomplished? You would still be married, but would your relationship deepen and grow if it consisted mainly of duties, even good ones? It would be ridiculous to think that a woman would be more of a wife, or a better wife, if she just scrubbed the showers better, wouldn't it? I can tell you that most husbands would much rather their wives spend time having fun with him than do laundry or mop the floor. Now, those things still have to get done... but not at the expense of sharing our lives together. The point of being married is not a clean house, or perfectly manicured lawn, is it? The point is to live life together, working through problems and struggles and setbacks as a team. The goal is intimacy, joy, and fun.
And if marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church, the same is true with our Lord. All of human history culminated at the moment that God tore the veil that separated man from God’s glory when Jesus gave up His life on the cross. No longer is God’s presence with His people... He is in His people. We must stop trying to live the Christian life and let Him live through us.
Father, Teach me today how to let You live through me. I want to know You more each day as we live life together. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.