Remember the Charlie Brown verbiage? Happiness is…a warm blanket. I’m reminded of that right now. But I’m going to change it for a few minutes to begin with “Life is…” instead of the happiness thing.
Think for a moment and fill in the blank: Life is _________. What is it?
I’ve been reading in Philippians now. It’s taken me almost 5 days to get through with chapter one! I’m not quite sure why it takes me so long to read these things. Guess I’m just a little stubborn sometimes and don’t understand. However, I have to share with you what I’m learning. God’s Word is becoming more and more important to me. I’m finding that I can’t move on to the next phrase or section without understanding what’s going on. This is kind of new and exciting.
Paul is one amazing author! I read what he begins with and as he continues, he explains what we wrote from the beginning. He’s in prison but it doesn’t get him down. Paul talks about having joy even though he’s bound in a cell. Conviction about his life’s purpose must have been very strong for him to find anything worthy of joy in a dark muggy cell. Then he says it; “to live is Christ.” Notice the verbiage? “Is.” It’s not “as.” It’s “is.” He understands the importance of God and the relationship He’s come to establish. Life is…Christ.
I’ve often wondered what it would mean to me if suddenly everything were taken away. The worst possible tragedy happens in life and, just like Job, I lose everything. (There’s a huge difference between me and Job. I have a godly wife instead of nagger. If Job had her as a wife, she would have sat in sackcloth with him and poured out her heart to the Lord.) Would Jesus be enough? After all is “stripped away” and it’s just me, would He be enough for me to live on? All it takes one incident, one thing to happen for the life we have grown so accustomed to, to just disappear and change. Is Christ enough? Honestly, I pray He is!
With everything given over to Him and His purpose for me, Christ becomes life because there is nothing else. The most important, most vital thing in life is relationship with Christ. Even myself must go to the cross and die. Christ must become life. The value, the mission, the priority, and everything safe is found only in Christ. And what it all boils down to is the safety of my soul found in Him. When my shell is faced with certain and unavoidable death, what difference does it make for “me” if it quits breathing? I’m found to be with Jesus, the Life!
Live in this shell and take over every part of this life, Father! I don’t want to be found any more as Nate. Christ, be my life! Truly live! Overcome as I wave the flag of complete surrender!
Everything else is loss and holds us back from knowing the true God. Everything. Nothing can take the place of Christ as life within us. We cannot find life in marriage, children, a bigger house, a nice car (or even one that runs), the best computer or phone, careers, friendships, or anything. Life must become one thing: Christ. It doesn’t mean that we are no longer responsible for parenting, our marriages, or responsibilities. It does mean that if Christ is life, He affects all those things for the glory of God.
Pass it on. Let people know what Life is. Begin to truly live.