(By Rachel Joyce)
In Andrew Murray’s book, Abiding in Christ, he speaks about how we need to live the crucified life. He says, “Self that seeks to serve God is more dangerous than self that refuses to obey God.” I believe what he means is that it’s easy to recognize that self is in control when an individual disobeys God; such was the case with the prodigal son. When he demanded his inheritance and then left home to squander it in indulgent living, his sinfulness made it obvious that “self” was in control. What is harder to detect, is when we’re serving God and seemingly doing all the right things, but we are doing them in the power of the flesh rather than in the power of the Spirit of God. It is essential for us to lay all on the altar. We must offer up to God all our strengths and the gifts that He has given us before they can be used for Him. We must recognize that without His strength flowing through us, we can do nothing. It is when we see ourselves as crucified with Christ, when we let Him live through us, that we can truly begin to live and to do the works which will result in glory to God.
So, it is possible for us to be doing all kinds of good things, but be doing them with “self” in control. When this is true, then our life at its core is the same as the prodigal’s. God preserve us from this. May Galatians 2:20 be true of us today:
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.