“Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Live it by faith in the Son of God,and you are crucified to yourself but risen and ascended into heaven through Christ who went before you. You should not be attached to this world but dull to anything that isn’t getting you to or maintaining that position of faith in Christ.”
I read todays T austin Sparks: http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/books/003117.html
It was really good to me because I think I can see myself in it. He talks about we are so worked up with so many things including trying to seek the Lord (in the wrong way) that we are missing the point. I caught myself the other day. I was struggling with my mind being overwhelmed with thoughts, fear, worries, the unknown, confusion, etc… I called family to pray and it helped immensly- they asked me if i was looking to the Lord and I asked myself, “Am I looking to the Lord?” My answer to myself- tho subconsciously was yes. But after reading this article, even if it sounds silly, I know at that moment I couldnt have been- its like i was thinking about looking to the Lord… but actual looking to the Lord requires actually looking to Him. I am sure i confused some but it is like Sparks puts it in this email… we get worried about bearing fruit when He is the vine… we get worried about overcoming death when He Himself is Light. I think we still miss the picture at times. Please read this article. What we are missing is a knowing Christ! Who is He to us?! We must know because that is what we have to hold on to. I remember when we started the bible studies that was like our main subject, who is Christ to us? Why do we believe and follow Him? Why do we give our lives up to Him and bear our cross? We NEED to come to KNOW Him! We all need that grip of WHO IS CHRIST TO ME? And noone can give us that. So many of our problems come from us trying to attain things, when He has already attained all. We are so caught up with being good Christians we are missing Christ! A family member told me the other day, “Quit worrying about everything else and focusing on your relationship with God and coming to know Him” – it gave me peace, i could see where I was getting off track. We get our minds off Him Himself just when we focus on living our lives for Him- thats the point we cant do it, so we are brought to a state of utter dependence for Him to be ALL to us. Christ in All. Let us not miss Christ!
Some other things I enjoyed in the word were kind of related:
First I read Acts 12, where Peter was placed in prison. Now Herod had just killed James. And it made the jews happy so he sought to kill Peter but it was the passover so he couldnt do it yet- so he had him thrown in prison bound in chains. So see it from Peters point of view- I am sure he is already of a broken heart having lost one of the members of the body then the enemy throws him in chains- but because it is passover the enemy cant touch Him- tho he has him captive. Now remember Passover was when the angel of death came to kill the firstborn and the only ones who were saved were those who had blood on the doorposts of their houses while they were inside partaking of the Lamb. Hopefully, I do not need to tell you they were abiding in Christ… So here is Peter on Passover (in Christ) where the enemy cant touch Him… and he sees a great light and was set free from his captivity and chains. It just reminded me of what sparks said about how we have to see something of Christ to deliver us from our captivity-our feeling trapped in who we are. When we see Christ we abide in him, we come out of what we are and are free from captivity. because Christ is certainly not captive.
Then i went to my daily psalm(s) and read Psalm 78:
Now, I wont post the whole psalm but I will tell you roughly what it is about.. it is the story of Israel and the old covenant and how God chose Israel and they turned from Him and such (you can read it)…. but one verse in particular shot off the page:
Psa 78:34 When He killed them, then they sought Him; and they turned and searched for God.
I thought this was a strange saying… It is speaking of how the first generation (those that came out of Exodus) didnt make it into the promise land due to unbelief but when they died their children went in… however the way it states it is a revelation, i know. They kept turning from God but WHEN HE KILLED THEM THEN THEY SOUGHT HIM… Paul and David said For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” It is speaking of that unbelieving old man in us coming to death.
And it continues…
Psa 78:50 He leveled a path for His anger; He did not keep back their soul from death, but gave their life over to the plague (which means “a destroying.”)
Psa 78:51 And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham:
Then it hit me why God does not choose the firstborn! It represents the old man! It represents the first Adam! He smites the firstborn in Egypt (which represents this world.) The chief of their strength! That dwell/abode in Ham (which is a prime example of the old man.) These example (Ham, Egypt) were strong in themselves but when it came to a spiritual life were pathetic- is was all natural….
God gave them over to a death and destroying of WHO THEY WERE SO THAT THEY COULD BE FOUND IN HIM! Watch and it show it:
Psa 78:52 But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
Psa 78:53 And he led them on safely, so that they feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
Psa 78:54 And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased.
Psa 78:55 He cast out the heathen also before them, and divided them an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents…
If you are not seeing Christ in this you are missing it. God made himself a people by this dying he caused in their lives- they had to take up their cross and follow him which meant dying to all they were. In Christ, we are kept safe- we go on without fear to HIS SANCTUARY- a sanctuary is somewhere safe- the devil can’t have you- you are IN CHRIST- it is a mountain- an elevation THAT HIS RIGHT HAND (who is the right hand of God? Jesus Christ!!) PURCHASED (He bought this with His own blood!!) There are enemies are defeated- all that held us captive… and we dwell in Him! Here it is again:
Psa 78:67 Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim:
Psa 78:68 But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved.
I mentioned the other day it was cool how God shocked jews with bringing Christ through Judah and not Joseph. Everyone reads their stories and thinks Joseph was such a great holy man and Judah was this despicable man who slept with his daughter in law. Well God didn’t choose Joseph! It says he refused to choose Him or Ephraim! Ephraim were those strong people in themselves who it seemed like God might also pick.. But no one would have ever thought anything good would come out of Judah! But that’s who God chose! That’s who he loves! He loves THE OVERCOMER! He loves that heavenly person that has died to all they are. He doesn’t want the firstborn-the first Adam- our own natural selves… that’s why we cant find Him unless WE DIE! WE HAVE TO DIE! Who we are has to go! And praise God – who of us, who are not good people in ourselves, want this (us) to keep living??? Praise God for Jesus Christ! He delivers us from this body of death! He wants Judah (the line of Christ)! He wants the second man- JESUS CHRIST! I think maybe our group should pray for true born again experiences if they have yet to have one… now I do not mean giving our hearts to Jesus- I know we are all Christians… what I mean is that coming out of ourselves into Him! Now this involves a horrible death on one part but a great resurrection on the other…. I want this more and more. I believe I am born again don’t get me wrong- but I want a deeper appreciation of it! I want to KNOW CHRIST in an intimate way such that I come completely out of who I am-which is done by suffering) and into WHO HE IS (which is life!!!!) I attached a picture… It was precious to me today… It is so what God does with us in Christ… strips us of all that we are (which is painful) and puts Christ in us and us in Him. we are then clothed with Christ- which is so much more than what we are!