A Chip Off The Rock (Jesus Christ)
We are all chips off the Rock if we have Jesus Christ living inside us.
This is freedom - the glorious liberty of Christ within. This is peace, marvelous happiness, KNOWING that the battle was fought and won for me by Jesus Christ. I want to shout it from the roof top.
However, some Christians do not understand this. I understand their perplexity, for it took me fifteen years after I accepted Christ into my life to see it.
For years my problem was living in fear of what God was going to do to hurt me. Every time I sinned I asked for forgiveness - not once, but several times. I then lived in guilt and condemnation. I thought I had gone two steps backward each time I missed it, and I would have to start over again at the bottom of the ladder with Christ. I would have to climb that ladder again, rung by rung, to get to that spiritual plateau that God expected of me.
I tried desperately to impress God to the point of almost making a complete fool of myself, in order for my personal needs to be met. Surely if God saw that I was giving my ALL to Him, He would be so pleased that He would supply all my needs. However, I could not understand why my needs were not being met and why things appeared to get worse after all the time I spent making deliberate sacrifices for Him.
I found myself getting annoyed with God. What did He expect anyway? I went through the drudgery of "serving the Lord" in the church, doing everything "as unto the Lord," and trying to obtain the approval of other Christians. So why did God not approve?
For years I lived under guilt and condemnation if I was not teaching Sunday School or involved in some church function. I hated every minute of it. But surely this is what God wanted? He certainly would not want me to do anything I enjoyed - surely that would be self-centered?
As a leader in a church function for four years I hated every second of the last year. I worked full time and dreaded those Monday nights. I would come home exhausted and have to run out the door to church. "But," I reasoned, "this is pleasing to God." There was, of course, the guilt of hating it, but, at the same time, I rested in the fact that I was "sacrificially pleasing God."
What a wretched and miserable existence this was! However, how wonderful to finally realize that salvation was not doing, but being.
During that time I began attending a Bible study run by a lovely, patient Christian couple. I attended quite regularly, and I loved the fellowship. One day they mentioned a magazine, UNION LIFE (now out of print). They handed me a card to send for it.
UNION LIFE magazine arrived in my mailbox. When I started reading the articles I learned that I am a unique expression of Christ. My childhood dreams and ambitions did not have to be given up and rejected, as I had thought over the years. My dreams were actually an expression of the me that He made and through them Christ would live out His purpose.
I studied one article after another. I could hardly believe it! It was like a veil or a piece of wax paper was removed from in front of my eyes. It was like chains falling off that had held me in bondage for years. I wanted to tell everyone that eternal life is a FREE gift - NOT a constant DOING.
I consider that moment to be one of the most wonderful in my life for I have truly been set free by Jesus Christ my Lord.
Each morning I awaken with the knowledge that He is living in me, expressing through me and that I am uniquely His. Since Christ is living in me, nothing else matters. It is not a question of an "I don't care" attitude. It is simply total trust in the Christ Who is alive in me.
I no longer have to try to impress God by seeking something in the form of a ministry, knowing that as I allow Him to live through me, things will fall into place. I can express Christ living in me in whatever I am doing.
Christians are told they are going to have trials. This may very well be true. However, I refuse to dwell on that. Instead, I focus on the indwelling Christ inside me, living His Life through me with joy and without fearful anticipation of a trial.
I have learned that one of my problems had been living in fear of what God was going to do to hurt me. I was not joyful because I had refused to recognize only one Power, God. I was constantly fearing and recognizing the power of satan. I wanted to fight a battle that was already won. Temptation can be overcome by total dependence on the Word of God. I stand on the promise that God is taking care of me.
Christ lives through me and through all those who have accepted Him as their personal Lord and Saviour. He is joy, radiance, happiness and peace. As we who love Him allow Him to live His life in us, we will find ourselves forming new goals and new plans.
I thank God for this freedom and for what He has done for me. Also I pray constantly for world peace and that God will use myself, and those who have accepted Him, to be His instrument to contribute to the joy and happiness of others as we share the wonderful news of the freedom of salvation. Sincerely, blessings always, Sparklea :)
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