Death to Life

I rarely use Twitter, but today I decided to scroll through my feed and noticed a hash-tag that led me to a state of overwhelming joy and humility. The hash-tag was initiated by The Porch Dallas and read “#MyStory”. It was a call for believers to tweet in less than 160 characters about how Christ transformed their heart. I decided to participate. It took a reminder like this for me to truly reflect on what Jesus has saved me from and saved me to/for. My story isn’t for my sake, but for His. It is for His glory. All those tweets overwhelmed me with joy because they pointed to Christ’s work and His amazing grace. I think it’s crazy to think back on where I was before God’s saving work actually captivated my heart. We can tend to puff ourselves up when we fail to remember our sin nature and that Christ alone has saved us by grace alone. I know I tend to veer off onto a prideful path when I’m not reminded of who I was. And don’t get me wrong– I’m not perfect or sinless now that I’ve been saved, but God sees me as perfect because He sees His Son and has imputed Jesus’ righteousness upon my life. So any time I do fall into sin or am prone to return to my old ways, God says, “No child, you have been there. I’ve rescued you from that. Come to me as you are, rest in my work. You are washed and forgiven, not because of your doing, but by the blood of my Son. I know you are prone to wander, I know your flesh is at war within your soul, but I have purchased you at the cost of my Son’s life and saved you from sin’s power. I have brought you out of darkness and into the light.” Praise the Lord that he can use a social media outlet to remind me of this assured promise!

Knowing me, I love to use words, so it was extremely hard for me to narrow “my story” down to less than 160 characters. But I think that it is sometimes more powerful to share a testimony in simple, short words. I wrote this: “Chased created things to save me until the one true Savior chased my heart & called me HIS. Forgiven, washed, set free from myself.” I’m sure I could get much more specific here, and I might get a little into that, but the reality is that we are ALL sinful. We are ALL born spiritually dead due to the fall in the garden. We ALL choose sin and fall short of His glory, but God, being rich in mercy chose to save those who have been called according to His purpose even when we are far from deserving it. I chose to title this post “Death to Life” because no matter what story I scrolled through and no matter who God has saved, they were spiritually dead and now alive. When it comes down to it, not one story is better than another. We’re all in the same boat because we are all bound to sin. The climax in our stories is Jesus and it is the incredible power in his ability to save. Nothing outside of Jesus can have that power to transform. Some people said they were rescued from paths of destruction involving drugs, others were rescued from sexual impurity, and yet others from the need for approval and the weight of religion and works. God saves people from all kinds of backgrounds! It puts no limit on His ability to save a soul with no sin that is too deep for him to rescue from. My heart became full when I read numerous tweets about Christ’s saving work. God isn’t some cosmic, tyrant being who wants our works. He knew we would never be able to fulfill His demand of holiness, so He stooped down to rescue us in the flesh and was holy on our behalf by putting sin to death. His hand is not too short to save (Isaiah 59:1).

You see, all of us search for something to satisfy us, to save us. We all were created to worship and we all do worship someone or something whether that’s God, a job, materialism, a spouse, or even ourselves. Since God created the world and every person in it, He designed it to work a certain way. We were created to glorify God- yet we are most satisfied in God when we glorify Him (Yes, I stole that from John Piper, but it’s true!). Like I said, He isn’t a tyrant trying to rob us of joy. He is joy, so of course it makes sense that He created it this way. We know in our heart of hearts that there is a hole that must be filled. We are just unaware and blind to what fills that hole. Or we try to fill it with temporary things that last but a moment and cannot sustain this gnawing in us. In my tweet, I said that I chased after created things to save me. In other words, I chased worldly pleasures to satisfy, society-driven hopes to fulfill dreams, and solely took advice from others before I’d take advice from the One true God. I sought approval and acceptance from others (and still wrestle with this one tremendously- not to mention, a lot of them). I hoped in temporary things. I exposed self-glory and self-focus until God obliterated this shallow and sinful way of life only to show me that Jesus-focus is where life is found. I wanted to sit upon the throne of my life, until God graciously revealed that this will never work because it wasn’t intended this way. A Jesus-centered life, not “me” centered life is where life is found. I was also filled with anger and rage. I still drift towards these tendencies, but the difference is that my identity isn’t in those things. My identity and anyone who has placed faith in Christ is in Christ. With the conversion from death over to life, comes a complete alteration in perspective. As believers, we aren’t perfect, but we depend on the only Perfect One and we boast not in ourselves, but in Jesus. After conversion, we are being perfected and begin to understand that Christ’s work on the cross frees us from earning God’s love. He rescues us from ourselves. He says that we don’t need to work, we don’t need to seek approval in other things, because He has graciously given us a new name through Jesus. We see that self-focus leads to death, but Christ-focus leads to life. We understand that we live to make much of God’s name, not our own. So when we share our stories, ultimately they aren’t our stories, but God’s redemptive story at its finest. God is the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Goodness, doesn’t this free us up so much? Skeptics think that a life given over to Christ robs us from life, when in fact it does the exact opposite. 1 John 2:17 says: “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” God knows our desires and satisfies our longing hearts. He mends what is broken and restores it to life and to freedom. I am beyond joyful in this truth today <3. Thank you, Jesus!

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