The Christian life is a life of living from another. God’s plan for us humans was never meant to be a life of continuous striving to get somewhere or become something rather it is a life of rest produced in us which comes from Christ’s very life within . Think about this with me for a minute. God created everything and then on the sixth day He created man. His plan was to prepare everything beforehand so the only thing man was left to do was to rest with Him. Adam’s first day of existence was, by God’s design, a day of rest on the seventh day.
Of course we know the story. Adam, along with the prodding of the deceiver, made the conscious choice to set himself up as independent from God. He came to the conclusion that he could run things in his own life and he could be “like God.” Notice what this really means is he could become a separate god, right? This is the same lie the enemy operated from when he said, “I will make myself “like” the Most High. You see, just like we humans, angels were created to be containers for God’s Spirit to dwell in but rather than retain there rightful place many fell, along with Lucifer, because they began to think they could live a life of independence, separated from God, as if that’s even possible.
Jesus himself invited us to regain this promised rest and told us how we could receive it. In Matthew 11 He said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” A yoke is an apparatus placed upon two oxen so they would work as one, the two would essentially become one. Jesus is inviting us to be joined to Him and let Him do the pulling. This is an invitation to union with God through Christ. This is God’s solution to our fall. “He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.”
With this as the foundation, look now at what Jesus taught us throughout the gospel of John. He said, “The Son can do nothing of Himself…”, “I can do nothing on My own initiative”, “I live because of the Father”, “I have not come on my own initiative, but He sent Me”, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.” In other words, there was never a time in Jesus’ whole life that He operated apart from His Father. You see this is the key to our humanity. Whereas Adam joined up with the self-deceived, so called, Mr. Independence himself; Jesus lived a life of total dependence upon His Father. We too must learn to depend upon another for our life.
In chapter 15 of the gospel of John you’ll read where Jesus tells us outright, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” There it is! There is no mystery in that kind of talk. If the truth be told there is no such thing as an independent being other than God himself. He is the real Mr. Independence and all others are counterfeit. All others are attempting to operate in a manner they were never created to operate and this is the root of sin.
Everywhere you look in the Apostle Paul’s letters he too elaborates on this theme of dependence. His Roman letter tells us we are either a slave to sin or slave to righteousness, in other words, we are always dependent upon another. In his 1st Corinthian letter he tells us at least twice “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? In Galatians he says, “It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me”, and he longed for “Christ to be formed in them.” In Ephesians, rather than use the vine/branch picture, he says, “Christ is the head and the church is the body.” Philippians tells us “it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” In Colossians we read, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” and “Christ is our life.”
There are so many well-intentioned Christians living their lives as if it all depends upon them. They are trying to repay God, manage sins, improve themselves and just all around trying harder to be “like” Jesus. Sounds sort of like someone else doesn’t it? My prayer is that they would finally come to the revelation the Christian life isn’t difficult to live, it’s impossible! This is why Jesus taught and did what He did. He came here in order to set us free from the deception that we can make ourselves like the Most High and to show us how to live a life of total dependence upon another, namely God the Father.
Not only did Jesus and Paul teach us we are to live from the life of another Peter did too. In his second letter right from the start he shares how, through Christ, God has promised us we can become partakers of His divine nature. We are never the origin of the life but we are a recipient. We truly are meant to live from the life of another.
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.