On Behalf of Self

by Susan Sampson

On behalf of self.  No, that isn’t what God’s word says is it?  Yet, this is how I live.  Recently the Lord brought back to my mind the time when Jeff and I got married, 18 years ago this coming November.  After being almost 30 years old and living on my own for many years, I remember thinking how happy I was to have somebody to take care of ME.

This weekend I am out of town with Jeff as he took me with him on a business trip so we could have time alone together.  Such a precious gift from the Lord.  As I was walking back to our room this morning after he left for work, suddenly it occurred to me that my thinking all these years has been the complete opposite of what the Lord’s will is for me.  I must no longer think, “how can Jeff meet my needs!”  Instead I must now change my thinking, taking my thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ, and completely reverse my thinking to “how can I serve him, how can I live on behalf of him knowing that Christ died for me?”  Clearly, this is only possible through the grace of God!!!

“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this; that one has died for all, therefore all have died, and have died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”  2 Cor. 5:14-15

We all once lived for self, alone, separated from Christ, alienated, without God, strangers.  “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Eph.2:13).

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Jesus has made us partakers of Himself through His death and resurrection!  We are in Him, a precious part of His body, the church!  He is in us!!!

Most of you have probably seen the Disney movie “Frozen,” but the Lord brought the lyrics to “Let it go” to my mind yesterday.

A kingdom of isolation and it looks like I’m the queen…
Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.
Well, now they know!
Let it go, let it go!
My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractiles all around
And one thought crystalizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back, the past is in the past!
Let it go, let it go!
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn.
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand, in the light of day
Let the storm rage on!

By the grace of God I no longer live in the kingdom of isolation I once did!  By the grace of God He continues to show me that there is no good in me, that is in my flesh (Romans 7:18).  By His perfect and unconditional love for me in Christ, He is working in me to help me to let go of my fear and trust Christ.  By His grace, He is working on my continued fear of man and giving me the desire to no longer hide and live in darkness concealing my sin, pretending to be the perfect girl, but confess it and bring it into the light.  “But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light” (Eph. 5:13-14).

We are no longer in the flesh!!  We are now in Christ!!!  This is His work!!  His grace!!  His glory!!!  “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17).

“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.  For one who has died has been set free from sin” (Rom. 6:6-7).

Lord, please help us as partakers of the promise to believe the truth of your words by faith and receive the truth of the gospel into our hearts that these seeds of truth would come to life in each of us and that we would bear fruit for your glory, living no longer for ourselves, but on behalf of Christ who died for us!

May we have more grace to now live humbly on behalf of those whom you have placed in our lives!

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.  Amen” (Eph. 3:20-21).

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