It is possible for Christians to live a happy, worry-free life, with peace even in the presence of problems, one similar to the life Jesus lived here on earth? The first step into this kind of life is to know when Jesus Christ died He paid the penalty for our sins.
When we believe this and receive Jesus as Savior, we want to live “like Christ” or follow after Christ [1 John 2:5,6]. In order to do this we must examine how Jesus lived while here on earth as a man. What was the key to His life?
- “I do not my own will but the will of the Father” (John 5:30).
- “The words I speak are not my own words but those of the Father” (John 14:10).
- “I can only do what the Father does” (John 5:19).
- “I do not accept praise from men” (John 5:41).
- “I seek not my own glory” (John 8:50).
- “When you see me, you see the Father” (John 14:9).
Jesus was very God and very man, but He laid aside [the use of] His Godhead and as a man lived totally by faith in His Father.
[“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” – Philippians 2:5-11.]
Jesus Christ exchanged His human desires for His Father’s desires. His human will was given up to do the will of the Father. He only spoke the Father’s words and did everything His Father did. Since He lived by faith, He gave all the praise and glory to the Source of His power. He could then say, “when you have seen me you have seen the Father,” for it was the Father’s work and words and will that He did [John 14:9].
Man was created with desires to love God and his neighbor, but these desires were perverted at the Fall of Adam [Gen ch. 3; Rom. 5:12]. Man’s desires then turned to please himself. He became self-seeking, self-centered, and self-dependent.
This is the exact opposite of the way Jesus lived. Therefore, this type of living is anti-Christ.
Before we can live “like Christ” we have to do what He did. We must exchange
- our desires for His desires,
- our will for His will,
- our words for His words, and
- do what He did.
We too cannot receive praise and glory from man because the Power for us to do and live comes from Christ in us [Col. 1:17]! This is true “denial of self”–death to seeking our own glory, death to our will, death to our desires when they are self-seeking, self-centered, and self-dependent [Luke 9:23].
God, who dwells in us, can now take over all our life. We begin to really live because “it is no longer I that lives but Christ (in me).” This is not a passive life, but a very active one. Our attitude changes from depending on ourselves and our energy alone to depending on Christ as we do our work. It is not [only] Christ helping me, but Christ in me doing the work.
As I think, speak, walk or use my hands I trust it is Christ in me who is thinking, speaking, walking, and working [Col. 1:29].
- It is a life of faith.
- It is a life of dependence on God.
- It is freedom from the self-centered life.
- It is the way Christ lived…
[as with Jesus Christ 2000 years ago] God meeting all His needs as a man who had laid aside [the independent us of] His deity.
Then we can say with Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). If I have received Christ as my Savior and have exchanged my will for Christ’s will, my words for Christ’s words, my deeds for Christ’s deeds, my thoughts for Christ’s thoughts, my desires for Christ’s desires, and seek not my own glory, I could say, “When you see me you see Christ in me!” [Gal. 1:16].
Christ in me handles any problems that arises. Yes, I keep working in and through a crisis, but my attitude is “I am dead. This situation cannot harm me. I no longer live. I’m free of anxiety, fear and worry.”
A PRAYER TO EXCHANGE YOUR LIFE FOR HIS IN ORDER TO LIVE LIKE CHRIST
“Father, thank you for sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. I have asked Jesus to come into my life and forgive my sins. Now I want
- His Will to be my will,
- His Words to be my words,
- His Walk to be my walk,
- His Work to be my work,
- His Thoughts to be my thoughts,
- His Desires to be my desires, and
- His Life to be my life.
- I will seek not my own glory nor receive praise from men. I want Christ to be totally in control of my life! So take control of my life and live your life through me. Amen.”
Then take it by faith (believe God); He is doing just that and reaffirm this fact constantly.
[Jesus Christ promised,
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33]
William Pettus Buck, D.M.D Buck Publishing House Birmingham, AL
Bracketed content, John Woodward
For further Reading: “How did Jesus Do What He Did?” (GraceNotebook.com)