One of my favorite verses has always been Galatians 2:20. Many would call it the pivotal verse for those of us who want to completely surrender our lives to Christ.
Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Of course we know the apostle Paul is the one who wrote this verse (by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit). Originally he was known as Saul of Tarsus and before his conversion he was a terror to those who believed the gospel of Jesus Christ. Saul was the ultimate champion of the Old Covenant, the Law of Moses. He thought Christians were heretics and he was determined to wipe out Christianity in its infancy. Saul's mission in life was to uphold the Law of Moses and to drive Christianity from the face of the earth. Notice how severely he persecuted the church:
Act 8:3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
Some of them he even had executed. By his own admission he said of himself that he persecuted the church unto "death." [Acts 22:4]. Saul was a champion of "religion" but eventually he had an encounter with LIFE Himself! On the road to Damascus Jesus appeared to him in a vision. The light was brighter than the sun and it knocked Saul to the ground.
Act 9:3-6 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
Saul asked two life changing questions. Number one, "Who art thou, Lord? Saul was smart enough to know that whoever it was that had that kind of power … that person was Lord. The Lord told Saul plainly, "I am Jesus." The second question was, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?"
At that moment, Gal 2:20 went into effect in Saul's life. He never again persecuted the church. His life's work changed from upholding the Old Covenant of the Law of Moses to teaching and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. All of Saul's old agendas, his whole plan for his life … was over. His new life in Christ began and the only thing that really mattered was … "Lord, what would you have me do?"
This is how Christ lives His life through us. We yield our lives to Him. Through times spent "waiting on the Lord" via prayer and fasting, meditation of the Word, and worship we begin to hear and understand how Christ wants to live His life through us. We are often called the "body" of Christ and that is exactly true. He has no earthly body on the planet except the bodies of His disciples. We lay down our agendas and we take up His plan for our lives instead. If Paul was to paraphrase Gal 2:20 as a testimony he might say something like this:
"Saul of Tarsus was crucified on the road to Damascus. He died when he met Jesus. Nevertheless I live, but it is no longer my plan for my life I am living. It is Christ now living His life through me by revealing to me His plan for my life. The life I am living now is by the faith of Christ who loved me and gave Himself for me."
Many people will be in heaven who do not have that same testimony. For example, the thief on the cross never had the opportunity to let Christ live His life through him. Yet Jesus said to him, "This day thou shalt be with me in paradise." The blood of Jesus is enough to get anyone into heaven if they believe the gospel. Likewise there will be many people in heaven who received Jesus as their Savior but who never truly yielded their lives to Him as Lord. Their nature changed when they were born again. No doubt their lives changed in many wonderful ways but they did not yield to the lordship of Christ when it comes to their life's agenda.
But you and I are seeking more than just making it into heaven. We are looking to be more and more sold out to the Savior who loved us so much He shed His own precious blood for us. We do not want to live our own agendas while on earth. We are wanting Christ to live His life through us. I think Paul asked the greatest question when he asked Jesus, "Lord, what would you have me do?" That is a question that should be often on the lips of every believer. Let us constantly be aware of Christ living His life through us so that the will of the Father can be manifest in the earth.
Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!
Your friend and co-laborer,
Gary Carpenter Ministries|
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