Crucified with Christ…
We must die to our sinful ways and begin to live again in Christ:
I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me. -Galatians 2:19-20, NAB
When Christ was crucified, He overcame the power of sin and death, and by putting our lives in His hands, we can have new lives – freed from our sinful ways. But first, we must die to ourselves and give our hearts and souls over to Jesus.
Even though we must be crucified with Christ and die to ourselves, we, like Paul, will live, and we will live through Christ who lives in us and through us. As complex as this may seem, it is this foundational truth of Christianity that defines our faith.
When we accept Christ into our hearts, our lives are no longer are own; they belong to Him. This goes against our very nature. Our nature, driven by sin, is to focus on our own needs, wants, and desires. We are afraid to give up our lives. Our selfishness consumes us. But if we want to receive the gift of eternal life, we must overcome it.
Giving our lives over to Christ is not a one time thing. We must continually die to ourselves and be crucified with Christ. Throughout our lives as Christians, we will be put in situations that force us to choose between our own desires and God’s will. Following God’s will can be difficult – especially when we are asked to give up those things that we cherish the most.
We all have dreams. Like many of you, I want to have a successful career and provide comfortably for my family. A couple of years ago, when I first started this website, I was faced with a choice: focus on advancing my career or spend more time focused on this ministry. My selfishness drew me toward my career; my faith drew me towards this website. Based on you reading this today, I’m sure you know which path I chose.
Amazing things can happen through God’s grace. At first, focusing on this site meant less time for my career pursuits. Eventually, however, it led to my current job at a Catholic company. I followed God, and He led me in a direction I never could have found myself. This won’t always hold true, but sometimes, when we give up our dreams for Christ, He will help us achieve them anyway.
One day, I hope to write and speak professionally with this site as my platform. That is my dream. But I give that dream over to Christ and let His will be done. My life is in His hands. Wherever He may take me, I know that His plan for me is greater than anything that I could have ever imagined.
Have you given your life over to God? Have you been crucified with Christ? Are you willing to let go of your own goals and follow God’s will? This can be one of the greatest challenges we face as Christians, but the rewards are amazing. Not only do we open ourselves to the gift of eternal life, but also to the many graces that God will put in our lives today. Follow Him. You will not be sorry.