What Not to Crucify  


New life is ours to have, not to quench. Enjoy it, let it breathe, let it grow.

I went through a long season in life of trying to crucify every desire, every vestige of “self” in my heart. In the name of taking up my cross daily—of desiring “all of God” and “none of me”—I tried to die. The problem is that as long as you’re trying to kill yourself, something in you has to remain alive to hold the knife. And the result can be extremely frustrating.

There’s a problem with this approach. If the Holy Spirit is in you, stirring up his desires and purposes, then crucifying everything includes crucifying his own work. We have to give room for his life to flourish—to let selfishness die, but to let God fill the self with himself. In other words, we need to embrace his dreams and desires, even if they are pleasing and satisfying to us and feel like ours.

Paul wrote that he had been crucified with Christ, and he no longer lived; only Christ lived within (Galatians 2:20). That’s true for us as well, but we need to let him live freely in us. New life is ours to have, not to quench. Enjoy it, let it breathe, let it grow. You can consider yourself to have already died; now live the new life in all its fullness.

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