Galatians 2:20 GW
I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live I live by believing in God’s Son, who loved me and took the punishment for my sins.
“My old identity has been co-crucified with Messiah and no longer lives; for the nails of his cross crucified me with him. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives his life through me?we live in union as one! My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that he gave himself for me, and dispenses his life into mine!
We don’t seem to use the term “Born Again” as often as we used to. We like to use statements such as ‘reconciled back to the Father.’ I use these terms and like them very much, I believe they have significant meaning for us. But this morning, as I read this verse, I was once again reminded why Jesus told Nicodemus that you must be born again to see the kingdom of God.
To truly live, we must die. Jesus is the representation of becoming the new man. We must willingly lay the agenda of our lives down to be crucified and allow God to raise us up in Jesus. Just as Christ rose from the grave and now sits beside the father, we as crucified beings will be raised up in Christ and have new lives. We begin to live a new life through Him and in Him. I personally believe this is when we start to live our best lives. There is a reason that God created us exactly the way we are. There is a reason that some of us are left-handed and other right-handed. There is a reason why some of us are creatives, while other analytical.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made! When you lay down your life on the cross allowing yourself to be co-crucified with Christ, you will enable the sin nature inside of you to die. It is a supernatural thing that happens, and it is so hard to explain, but when it happens for a person, you can tell the difference. People are changed, their very core nature is changed.
I heard a statement this week from a minister friend of ours. He said that many people are crying out for more of God when they haven’t ingested the portion that they have already been given. I look at our nation during this time of crisis, and I think about this statement. So many have had a salvation experience but are like babies still needing to be spoon-fed. When a baby is hurt, tired, or hungry, it cries, and it doesn’t care if the whole world hears it. It doesn’t care whether it is in public or private. In fact, it can be quiet disturbing for those around that don’t have a relationship with that baby.
When we lay our lives, our agendas, our dreams on the altar to be crucified, we are taking the first step into growing up and becoming fully mature in Christ. This happens by being still and listening to God.
I recently heard a missionary on a documentary, while giving his testimony, make this statement. He said, “my prayer is that God keeps me out of the lane of doing what is wrong, but I also pray that he keeps me out of the lane that is filled with doing what looks good and noble but is only keeping me bogged down and busy. My prayer is God will help me stay in the lane He has for me. That lane is filled with green lights, and God says, GO!” I believe when we read Galatians 2:20, this is what God is saying to us. When we grow up and die to any expectations of what the life God has called for us looks like, we will begin to live a life full of all the adventure and peace and security we will ever need. We will step into our authentic lives, where we will begin to rise up and become warriors or peacekeepers for God. Not in the sense of fighting everyone around us, but in the spirit of bringing down barriers for others and for ourselves. I know that I am called to do battle, but my weapons for war are not of this world. When I close myself in my prayer time and intercede for whomever, God places on my heart that is bringing down strongholds and changing the outside world around me. I lay down my own expectations of what I believe to be accurate and press into what He says is true. I die daily so that Christ can rise in me and live through me. Some days I cry from the pain of it, but I have learned as I have become mature that there is great glory that comes from the crucifixion. As I live in that glory, it makes life so delightful. My heart is changed, and I now see that my life has more good days. The good days outnumber the bad days and that with every crucifixion, there is also an Easter morning rising in my life.