I have been (almost) crucified with Christ

Dissociative Disorder (previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder) is a mental disorder whereby a set of one or more personalities is believed to exist within the person. These identities can talk to the person, and the person can answer back. The identities often are formed to help a person cope with different parts of their life, and seem to have distinct personalities that are unique and different than the person’s core personality. (PsychCentral.com) Spiritually speaking, a similar thing can exist in the believers of Jesus Christ. This happens when the believer has not died as he ought to have. Consequently, two personalities – one Christ and the other the believer – now co-exists in the same body. This largely explains why so many Christians behave one way on Sundays and another the rest of the week.

In recent months, I was made to revisit the verse Galatians 2:20, which says, “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 I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” I have memorised this verse some thirty years ago but only now I am realising that this verse holds the key to a normal Christian life.

You have often heard Christians say, “I need to be crucified some more,” or “I am still in the process of dying”. Such terminology is not found in the Bible. Rather, Paul speaks in absolute terms – “consider yourselves DEAD”. We cannot think of ourselves as dying because a dying man is still alive, and in itself poses a problem. Unless and until you are dead, the image of Christ cannot be fully formed in you.

You would think that by now, after being a Christian for over thirty years, I would have settled this issue. But no. Chances are that many like me need to revisit this matter too.

A dead man cannot do any thing by himself, yet he can do ALL things because he is strengthened by Christ (Phil 4;13). Paul was such a man. And when he realized that God’s power was perfected in his weakness (or utter inability), Paul decided that he will only boast of his weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon him (2 Cor 12:9). Paul, you could say, was a “walking dead” or zombie.

Zombies, as you know, do not really exist. But since it has been so effectively popularised by the movies, I will just use it to illustrate this spiritual truth that Christians must be like zombies. Like zombies, we are technically dead; no way to revive us. Yet we “live and move and have our being” because of a power that works in us (Acts 17:28). Zombies do not respond to external stimuli; they are stirred and steer only from within. They are single-minded, not easily distracted. This was how Paul lived. This is how we should live too. This is the normal Christian life.

In the last eight months, God showed me how alive I was. As I prepared and sent out my resume to apply for jobs, I consciously mentioned the things I have accomplished and the wide ranging experience I’ve had. Unconsciously, I became proud. And God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. For this reason, I believe, God kept all doors tightly shut for me. When I received no response from the organizations that I wrote to, I was affected. I felt helpless and that I was “good for nothing”. And, interestingly, instead of encouraging me, God agreed with me. He reminded me that I can do nothing apart from Him. Then He rebuked me, saying, “How dare you boast about your accomplishments as if they were yours.” What a way to start the year. What a way to begin my year of Jubilee. If this is any indication of things to come, then this year will be a good year – a great year.

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