There is no more excellent gift that we as sinful men can receive than the forgiveness of sins and, in turn a benevolent relationship with the Creator of all things, Jesus Christ, for whom all things were made and to whom all glory belongs forever. When I ponder how I could not be consumed with Him, I cannot find a logically consistent answer. In light of such revelation as a perfect love that overlooks our defilement, how could we not cast aside every worldly pursuit, selfish motivation, and impure behavior, and most importantly, not throw ourselves headlong at the cross?
Yet, we still sin against and neglect the One who puts breath in our lungs. The greatest idolatry of them all is the elevation of ourselves above God. This attitude is the source of self-righteousness that says, “I don’t need God, I can do this on my own, and even if I need Him, I don’t want Him.” That sentiment still exists within us on this side of heaven as we grapple with the spiritual forces of this world that inhabit our sinful flesh.
I still think thoughts and make decisions that directly oppose His will, and the resulting cognitive dissonance and regret over my sin haunt me. My soul aches to do His will, yet blemishes and offenses seem to abound the more I look at the course of my life. I know that this struggle is shared among us as believers, and can be incredibly discouraging along the road to heaven.
Perhaps, we are looking in the wrong place. Maybe, we’re still trying to earn our salvation on our terms. Perhaps, we are still too consumed with ourselves. I once heard an adage brilliantly say, “For every look at yourself in the mirror, take another thousand looks at Christ.”
“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols, I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”
Christ has done this in the life of every saint, and He has done it all. He has chosen a people to redeem from great depths of depravity unto everlasting life in glory, a mighty work that surpasses even bringing creation into existence from nothing. He doesn’t say He might do these things; He says He will. His love for us defies what we deserve, and meditating upon His salvation brings us a peace that surpasses understanding. We are marked and set apart for a life consumed with Him, and it is only by His mercy that we can do so.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
As believers, we have been bought with a price, which was the God-Man’s life. He died for us in our place, making His yoke easy and burden light compared with the life of sin and condemnation we once walked. So, again, I ask myself, how could I not be consumed with Christ? How could I not strive to know, honor, and obey Him with every breath, thought, word, and deed, no matter the cost? What worldly comfort, pleasure, or goal could surpass knowing this Jesus now that He has transformed my heart and called me his child?
I pray for us as a Church that we would be consumed with Jesus in a far more excellent way. Christ beckons us to come quickly and take that other foot out of the world and step fully into His Kingdom, longing to know and see His eternal glory. To be consumed means to absorb all the attention and energy of someone, and He is of infinitely more worth than we can fathom.
Let us throw ourselves upon Him without hesitation through reading His Word, praying to Him in faith, gathering with and serving His people, worshipping Him through the offering of our lives to Him, and telling every nation about Him, for this life is a vapor, and He is coming again soon.
~ Alex Nicholson serve as Music Director and Social Media Coordinator at LIFE Fellowship.