[ecko_quote source=" Galatians 2:20"]I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me[/ecko_quote]
Many of us start our Christian life thinking it as very easy. Author and teacher Stuart Briscoe said, When I got saved, it was so wonderful. The burden of sin was gone. Boy, I started out wanting to live for God and be so happy. “It’s wonderful. Here I am, saved. Hallelujah, Jesus! I will never make another mistake. I have been saved; my sins have been forgiven. I have the Holy Spirit in me. This is just wonderful,” I was saying, and then I stumbled and fell. I got discouraged a little bit. I said, “Well, this isn’t as easy as I thought. This is difficult.” And I began to strive and tried to be a better Christian, but again I failed miserably. I stopped saying this is difficult. I hung my head in despair and said, “This is impossible.”
The more I thought about it, the more I came to the conclusion that the Christian life is very difficult. I was supposed to love my neighbours. Some of them I hadn’t even got around to liking! God seemed to expect from me a love that would put Him first, and I wasn’t too sure that was what I wanted. Often I pretended all was well when I knew it wasn’t. Then something happened. Reading through my Bible, I have learnt that I had been wrong about the Christian life. First, I thought it was easy. That was wrong. Then I figured it was difficult. But I realised that was wrong too. For the first time in my life, I understood that Christianity was impossible for a human being. Not easy and not difficult, Impossible.
Then God showed me that what He had for me was CHRIST. He had told me to live the impossible because He had given me Christ to whom it was all possible. My inability was the perfect soil for His ability. My defeat was the stage for His victory. My barrenness was the seed plot for His fruitfulness. The answer to my problem was Christ. I got more conscious of my helplessness and failure than ever before. But I was strangely excited to know that the Lord was resident in my weakness and master of my defeat. The next time when I got up to preach, I whispered “Okay, Lord, here we go again. These problems are too big for me but well within your capabilities. I claim your power to triumph” And I began to do just that. God in His goodness had introduced me to a life of faith, trust, and dependence on Lord Jesus. He was becoming increasingly real to me. In fact, that should be the story of the Christian life. Finding it continually impossible to you, but always possible to the One who lives in you, and being excited about being able to prove Him.
A dear friend used to say, we all are the failures that we were meant to be. In other words, our attempts at living the Christian life in own power were always supposed to fail. God never intended for us to succeed by self-effort, self-motivation, and self-striving. We were never designed (of course after Adam's sin) to live holy lives without trusting the Christ who died for us. In short, we cannot live the Christian life without Christ. Only by grace through faith, Christian growth is achieved (Gal. 3:1-5).
When we attempt to live the Christian life in our power, we find it impossible. We grow frustrated. Our up and down experiences of momentary victory and devastating failures prove exhausting. The cycles of perpetual self-confidence/pride and shame/guilt leave us wondering if we are really saved. Then, we realise that our sense of desperation and defeat is what God is waiting for; he wants us to come to the end of ourselves.
God is waiting for us to admit our struggle, repent of our self-sufficiency, and pray for divine help (2 Cor. 12:8-10). It sounds a bit cliché, but God desires for us to stop trying and to start trusting. He wants us to give up striving and struggling to allow Christ to do the impossible: give us liberty and victory over our on-going struggles with sin (2 Peter 1:3-4).
The Lord’s purpose and goal is to allow his Son, Jesus Christ, to live his life in and through us (1 John 4:9). The only person who ever successfully lived the Christian life was Christ himself. Therefore, we need to allow Christ to live his life in and through us for victory over sin, power over temptations, and anointing for ministry (Gal. 2:20).
The Christian life can only be explained in terms of Jesus Christ, and if your life as a Christian can still be explained in terms of you, your personality, your willpower, your gift, your talent, your money, your courage, your scholarships, your dedication, your sacrifices, or your anything... Then although you may have the Christian life, you are not yet living it!
You know what? Mr Briscoe was right. The Christian life is impossible, without Christ. You see, when Mr Briscoe discovered that God is the God of the impossible and that Jesus Christ was in Him, he then stopped trying, started trusting, and let the Lord Jesus Christ live His life through him. He also stopped saying Christian life as impossible and started saying, “This is wonderful!”
Source: Jonah Ravinder; Mr Stuart Briscoe