I was having dinner with a friend of mine named Rocky, who said this to our server. “I am going to ask you a question that a friend once asked me. What are your Master, Mate, and Mission?” She replied with a nervous laugh. “I am single, so I don’t know my mate yet. I am trying to figure out my mission. I am my own Master, my own source for living life.” Her last answer was honest and portrays the modus operandi of those who are not in Christ and many who are in Christ.
Let me ask you a question. What resources do you rely on to live your life? Self-determination? Experiences? Bible Knowledge? Self-help books? Your looks? Trying harder? Etc.? These often lead to frustration and conflict. Relying on yourself is often termed “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps”. The Collins dictionary defines it this way, “to help oneself without the aid of others; use of one’s resources”.
God offers the best and only alternative. You can exchange your life for Christ’s life. We cannot live for Jesus unless we live from Jesus! This is not only for attending church, reading the Bible, serving God, and praying. It is also for our work, relationships, exercising, eating, and everything else. As we do this, we often experience God’s love for us more deeply!
This doesn’t mean we disregard our experiences, training, education, aptitudes, etc. It simply means that our posture is that He can use any of those He desires.
Two Scriptures clearly spell this out.
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” You were once your own master, relying exclusively on yourself to make your life work for you. But that person was crucified with Christ on the cross and replaced with a different “you” whose deepest desire is to rely on Christ in you.
Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” God’s encouragement is this. To live life to the fullest, so we can fulfill the mission God has for us is a result of learning to live from Christ in us. Difficulties and disappointments often prepare us for this as they reveal that our own resources are bankrupt.
Are you ready to exchange your life for Christ’s life? If so, here is a suggested prayer.
“Father, I realize I have been relying on my resources instead of Christ in me. Even though I often try to live for Jesus, I have not realized I cannot do this at all unless I live from Jesus in me. I understand now that I am totally bankrupt to live my life the grace way unless Christ lives through me.
Today, I repent, meaning I have changed my way of thinking to Your way of thinking. Jesus, even when I do not feel it, I thank You for loving me each day from the inside. I also ask You to live Your life through me in every area of my life, even when I do not feel that either. I declare that I am relying on You right now to do just this. I exchange my life for Your life as my only resource for life and godliness. Lord, as You live through me as my ultimate and only source for living in every area of my life, you can use any of my training, education, or experiences that You want to use. Yet, my reliance is squarely on You and You alone.
For the next seven days, by Your grace, I plan to ask You to live through me to get started depending on You from now on. Holy Spirit, please remind me to do this for those seven days and beyond them. Thank You, Amen”
© Mark Maulding (But feel free to share this.)