Jesus never peddled an easy Christian life, but a life crucified unto Himself.
We get sidetracked, thinking the crucified life is a great loss. But the opposite is true. The crucified life gives way to the resurrection life. You can’t have the resurrection life without first having a crucified life to be resurrected from.
The crucified life is freedom from the tyranny of you. It is the freedom from your old nature, with the liberation of the power of Christ reigning in you. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…” (Galatians 2:20).
There is no opponent more powerful, more cunning, more deceiving, more stubborn, more delusional, more ruthless, and more entrenched than yourself. That is why He said you have to die to yourself, because He knows you will never surrender.
The shocking truth in the life of a saint is when they discover that the sacrifice the Lord requires is their very life. To belong to Christ you cannot belong to you. “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24). Whose are you?
You against you is just “check mate” with no victory. There cannot be a victory without a surrender. The only cure for sin is death. Determine that your “…old man was crucified with Him…For he who has died has been freed from sin” (Romans 6:6-7). Dead men don’t sin.
People think it takes a strong will to walk the higher life. They are wrong. A strong self-will is an obstacle to living the higher faith. You can come to the Cross on your own strength, but to climb up onto it and crucify your flesh requires your absolute surrender. It is not about gaining some ground, but yielding all.
Salvation comes once you kneel beneath the Cross of Christ. Power comes once you climb up on that Cross and crucify your natural man. Spirit life only sprouts from natural death. The only powerless Christian is the one who refuses to crucify their own flesh.
Whatever you refuse to give up is your god. Either Christ in you or you in the world. You are either alive to your sin and dead to God, or the other way around. “…reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:11). What are you alive to?
You cannot be full of yourself and also filled with the Holy Spirit. To be filled I must first be emptied. To live truth I must first let go of the lies. The secret to being more is to become less that the more of Christ would reign in you. Lord Jesus, Your desire is not that we would be more, but that You would be the “More” in us.
You do not gain power in yourself, but Christ in you. The crucified life gives way to the resurrection life in which the power of Christ will reign in you. “…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Philippians 3:10).
Do not fear living the crucified life, but only fear squandering the resurrection life and the power of Christ in you.
I am praying that you would live the crucified life in resurrection power.
Blessings to you,