Actively bringing about much needed change in our communities and hope to the broken and disheartened.
We recently started a study in our Youth Ministry through the book Radical by David Platt. I cannot recommend this book strongly enough, but please don’t read it because it’s the current “big thing” – only read it if you are willing to shed some of the unbiblical practices of the American church. If you read that last sentence and were offended, because your church does not have any unbiblical practices – your not ready to read it.
I have decided to use Galatians 2:20 as the theme for our study through Radical. In the NET translation it read this way: “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
This verse has been on my mind a lot over the last few months. In January it came to mind when I was listing to Dr. Wayne Schmidt. He said that he came to a point in his life where he realized that it was more important that God enjoy his life than it was that he enjoys his own life. I was wrecked by this. Somewhere along the way I had picked up this idea that my satisfaction and God’s will were so closely tied together they were almost indistinguishable. We even say things like – “to find out what God’s will is for your life start with the things you are really passionate about.” Where did we get this? If there is Bible for it please enlighten me; when I read Galatians 2:20 I don’t see room for this approach. When I die to self shouldn’t I surrender my passions?
With that said, I am fully convinced that a person who is fully devoted to allowing Christ to live through them is never more satisfied than when they know they are in the center of God’s will. I am not convinced that the center of His will and your greatest passion are automatically identical. Following God has always required sacrifice. We often times try desperately to explain away Jesus’ commands to turn our back on earthly things in which we find a false sense of security.
This verse, Galatians 2:20, also means a lot to me as a leader and as a pastor. There people in my life who God has given me the responsibility of making disciples. My responsibility to fulfill this God-given task only reiterates that my life is not my own.