|photo courtesy of antranias via pixabay.com|
Every time someone stops me to pour out their kind words, their accolades, their pats on the back, and the like, I have yet another opportunity. “I give God all the glory,” I tell them. “I’m not special. It’s all Him,” I say. “I am nothing without Him,” I explain. “It’s me and Jesus,” I say. “All glory goes to God,” I confess. See, I want them, and you, to know that I am just a simple sinner woman. I am nothing more than a woman who falls short of God’s glory every single day of my life. Every breath, in fact. I am nobody special. Nothing fancy. Not at all elaborate. No better than. No greater than. In fact, I consider myself the sinner of all sinners. For I am sickened, repulsed, appalled, by the wickedness I find in my heart sometimes, by the actions I am capable of, by my incredible humanness. I am nothing, let me repeat, nothing without the Lord Jesus Christ.
So what do people see when they say they see an angel? When they applaud the work I do. When they toss kind words at me as I walk the disabled dogs down the beach? Or give away more of my increasingly few possessions to those in need? What do they see? They see Christ. For when I humble myself before the Lord, when I put under subjection my flesh, when I submit to the Lord, when I take off my old self and put on Christ as the Bible calls us to do, when I am crucified with Christ so that my own ways are squashed under my feet, even if but for moments or minutes or as much as an hour or longer, then it is Christ who lives in me. It is Christ who lives through me. And it is Christ they see.
When Jesus invites us to follow Him, He says we must deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Him. We must say no to our own fleshly desires and old ways, we must nail to the cross our way of doing life, and learn to live as God calls us to in the Bible. Oh, if only I did this better. More often. More completely. But alas, I am learning. I am trying. More and more. And the more I deny myself and my own ways, the more I take up my cross, the more what people see is not me at all. But Christ who lives in me. Hallelujah!
I ain’t no angel. I have no wings. But what I have is a passion beyond imagination for the Lord, a hunger beyond measure to love Him, a desire beyond description to serve Him, and a desperation to please Him. My hope, my prayer is that more and more, hour by hour and day by day, the world around me would not see me as I follow my beloved Jesus, but they would see my precious Christ!
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. Romans 13:14 NASB
|Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny|
themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. … Luke 9:23