Galatians 2:19,20--For through the law I have died to the law, so that I might live for God. 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
The Apostle Paul makes a revolutionary statement in the preceding verse. He states, “I no longer live.” What a preposterous statement—of course he still lived or he would not have been alive to write. But you correctly note, Paul is not talking about existence but rather identification. Paul is telling us that he no longer lives for himself—his self-centered desires, his education, his citizenship in Rome, his standing among the religious elite. Instead he affirms the truth that his old way of thinking was put to death on the cross with Jesus. He lives for Christ. He places his life in the hands of the One who loved him and gave Himself for him.
Do you know what it means to be crucified with Christ? It means to stop excusing what you are not doing on the basis of your temperament or gifting. It means to cease forming arguments against Christian service because it doesn’t agree with your personality or dreams. It does not allow for you to define ministry by your style and your fellowship by those for whom you have a natural affinity. If you cannot be a missionary, you cannot be crucified with Christ. If you cannot serve in the nursery, you cannot be crucified with Christ. If you cannot share your faith, you cannot be crucified with Christ. To be crucified means to put to death your cannots! In Christ, you can do anything He calls you to do because you no longer live for yourself but for Him. This does not mean God will send you to the remotest part of India as a missionary. It means you are willing to go wherever He sends you whenever!
This is not a message we hear preached often but if we will take the time to examine Scripture we will see the truth that God does not make decisions based on how we are put together. This is why Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “May Your kingdom come and may Your will be done” (Matthew 6:10).
The fact that God gave us a temperament is helpful for us to understand. Just as it is useful to know how other people are “put together.” But the key to Christianity is not defining my walk by my temperament but rather being willing to say, “I live by faith in the Son of God.”
I have never seen the Spirit of God pay any attention to a person’s temperament, but over and over again I have seen people make their temperament and their natural affinities a barrier to coming to Jesus. We have to learn that our Lord does not heed our selective natural affinities. The idea that He does heed them has grown from the notion that we have to consecrate our gifts to God. We cannot consecrate what is not ours. The only thing that I can give to God is my right to myself.—Oswald Chambers in As He Walked
©1998 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)