Rob is dead.
He died a few days ago. Please, no condolences, no flowers, no cards. My death is a good thing.
It’s bad enough that I gave breath to that life of mine, the LAST thing I want to do is to celebrate it in any way.
But now I’m dead, so I can finally tell the tale of how I died. It isn’t unique, but it IS compelling and I hope and pray that it compels you to die too.
First, to understand my death, you need to know a little about my life. When I was 7 years old, I received Christ into my heart as only a little child can: joyfully. And I remained full of joy throughout my early teen years, but as often happens to children, I began to grow up and as I did, the joy of Christ alone was being pushed aside to make room for my self, my will, my desires and ultimately, my sins.
But it was ok (I told myself) because my sins could peacefully coexist with my relationship with Christ. After all, I was forgiven, so what was the big deal. Everybody was sinning and asking forgiveness, so that became the norm for me. I didn’t understand.
The problem was, I was giving myself a license to sin.
Bottom line: it was easier to ask forgiveness later than simply to obey God. And this was a BIG problem for me, because it would set the tone for the next 20 years of my life as Christ was slowly pushed completely out of my life. In His place came every evil sin imaginable, and I welcomed them all with open arms.
Not all at once, mind you, but each sin that I allowed into my life opened the door to other sins that I would never have imagined I could be capable of. Finally, I reached the point where there was no commandment of God that I was not openly breaking. In addition to that, drugs had become my whole world and I could see no way out except to take my own life.
And that’s when it happened: God called to me while I was at my lowest point. When all of the lying and denial finished and I was face to face with the truth of what I had become, that’s when He reached out to me.
Some may question why He waited so long (I certainly questioned why He had waited so long), but I understand now: it’s because until I came to the end of myself, I wasn’t ready to acknowledge my complete and total need for my Savior, Jesus Christ.
And this isn’t a one time thing. As life continues on, we often make bad choices that draw us back into sin. And every time it happens, we need to come to the end of ourselves and place our complete reliance and trust in Christ again.
This is called dying to self. It’s how and why I died a few days ago.
Galatians 2:20 (ESV) – I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
The past is behind me, covered in the blood of the Lamb.
I am dead. I am crucified with Christ. I no longer live. Christ lives for me. The life that I now have is being lived through faith in Christ alone.
I pray that one day soon, you die, too.
It’s the only way to really live.