God Killed Me

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.

– Galatians 2:20

Follow your heart. Follow your dreams. Be true to yourself. Trust your heart. Do what is right for you. Do what makes you feel good.

We have all heard these sentiments chanted in our culture from our family, our entertainment, and even from within ourselves, we are no strangers to them. These cords of thinking are so deeply woven into our being that at times they emerge from us as guidance without even a thought behind their meaning. We give no heed to the one thing these statements revolve around.

You.

Follow and trust yourself. Give into your passions and desires. You are the one who leads your life. For many this likely doesn’t seem to be a problem since these thoughts come very naturally. However, this way of thinking comes with a dangerous presupposition: You are capable of defining what is true and what is right for yourself. It is claiming that you are a good and trustworthy person.

Yet in reality, the truth is, we are not good people. None of us are. (Romans 3:10-12) We in fact all desire evil and are each consumed with a passion for it. We drink of it, yet our thirst is never quenched. We eat of it, yet our stomachs cramp with the pangs of hunger. We seek our rest in it, yet we lay sleepless with no contentment.

So, what is this evil? Yourself.

We are consumed with passion and desire for ourselves. (Romans 1:25) We fight and claw to have our purpose and our way above God’s. That my friends is the essence of evil, and it is what we pursue. However, no matter how much of it we get, it’s never enough. No matter how much we assert our own will over God’s, it never satisfies. It leaves us empty, straining, and plotting for more. The reason it has never satisfied is because we were not designed to be satisfied by ourselves. (Jeremiah 2:12-13) This is our great evil that leaves us empty.

That is also why from Christ we hear a much different plea. From the mouth of our Creator we hear a call to follow him, not ourselves. And do not mistake it; it is a call to die. (Mark 8:34) To die to yourself. To lay down everything you are, your thoughts, desires, and actions under His rule.

But who wants to die to themselves? Who volunteers for that? It is the one who has seen something worth dying for. (2 Corinthians 4:3-6) It is the one who has seen more value and beauty in Christ than they see in themselves. They are willing to die. For those that have truly seen Christ, the fear of dying to yourself grows dim in the radiant beauty of what that death will award you. They are then willing to lay hold of Christ at the cost of themselves. They will give up following their own heart to follow God’s. (Acts 13:22)

But what does that look like? How does someone see God as more beautiful than themselves? It takes seeing who you really are in the light of who God really is. When we see that God is holy, just and righteous, and He will not tolerate the sin in our rejection of him, we start to see ourselves in the light of His glory. He is God. We are not, and all we are owed from him is destruction. (Isaiah 6:1-7, James 4:4)

Yet hope comes in that state. Seeing yourself as cursed, ruined, and hopeless under God’s wrath is the beginning of dying to yourself. (James 4:6) Because it is there, that you can see the glory of Christ. It is there, that you can see He paid the penalty you deserve. (2 Corinthians 5:21) It is there, that you see His wrath as loving due to its ability to give you what you need most: the ability to see God as gloriously beautiful in His sacrifice of His Son for your sin.

Seeing ourselves under God’s wrath is the only way we can start to see Christ as more desirable than ourselves. Then we can desire to be crucified with him, buried with him, to be raised to new life with him. (Romans 6:1-7) We then see the reward of dying to ourselves is in-fact God himself!

This is what God did in my life. God opened my eyes to His glory, and I died under its weight. God’s glory killed me, then raised me to a new life with him!

So I ask, do you see God as more desirable than yourself? Is His way more beautiful than yours? If not, I have to wonder, are you really alive?