By Todd Forrest
Faculty, College of Theology
“If I could just change…”
No matter how you fill in that blank, we all see things in our personal lives that need attention. Some changes may be physical, in personality, in how we respond with our emotions or in our spiritual lives. In Galatians 2:20, Paul states, “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.”
Pondering the result as stated in “the life I now live” resonates with transformation. As I live out a relationship with Jesus, I live differently. Now, this is not in a weird way, but trust in an identity beyond me. “The life I now live” is different. I have a comfort in my fear and anxiety. I have strength in my times of weakness. I have a sense of meaning and purpose in this world. I have joy in my life’s journey that no one or nothing can take from me.
How do I get this? It is because I have died to myself, my agendas and following my means of security and have allowed Jesus to dwell in my heart. Now, I am in no means perfect, but “the life I now live” is different than what I was before. I have been able to address habits and attitudes in my life that I could not overcome before. It gives me a capacity to love others that, frankly, just annoyed me before and now I find in them meaningful relationships. “The life I now live” has peace on the days that get stressful and has an optimistic future because it is not me that is controlling this life, it is Christ in me.
I am glad to surrender my life because even if I was reluctant about how much “fun” or “freedom” I would give up, my personal experience is that I have consistently found the opposite true. This new life is free; it is without regret and shame.
I can look in the mirror with the confidence of Christ in me not just staring at my faults. Through this freedom, I can rest at night without worry for tomorrow, because that is God’s job, not mine. My job is to make sure I do not sneak in and try to circumvent what Christ is doing both in and through my life. Of course “the life I now live” is a life that has difficulty, sadness and pain. Sometimes I feel crushed by the weight of this world. However, I have a source to return to and know that the master of my destiny, as Paul again says in Ephesians 3:20, “Is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Be encouraged, “the life I now live” is an open invitation for transformation in you.
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