I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).
Have you ever pondered the question of who is really living your life? Is it the former you in Adam? Or is it others around you? A cornerstone of Paul's teachings is just Who it is that lives His life in us.
THE FORMER YOU IN ADAM?
"Knowing that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed…henceforth we should not serve sin" (Romans 6:6).
Many believers' lives are lived from the grave; from the defeated dominion of the "old man;" from the former independent, Adamic-self that was finished on the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Through our union in Christ's death and resurrection, your old self-life in Adam is history; rest on this accomplished fact. There are many believers who are desperately trying to crucify themselves when it is a done deal. Your crucifixion is a historical fact. Refuse to live under the domination of old Adamic-life.
Many believers' lives are lived by others. They are dominated by what others think and say.
We only live twice; one temporary life now, and one immortal life in the resurrection. This truth makes all of life valuable; especially this first life – since it is a quickly vanishing vapor-life (James 4:14). Everyone gets one of these temporal lives. No one had the right to live your life for you, thus have more than one life for themselves. Refuse to allow anyone to live your life for you; to pressure, to domineer, to lord over you. The life that the Father has given you is the gift of His life in you. Value it, honor it; and redeem it from the hands of those who would embezzle it from you. Not even Paul the Apostle would assume such a place over the lives of believers.
"Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand" (II Cor 1:24).
Nor would Paul allow anyone to have such ascendancy in his own life.
"But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self" (I Cor 4:3).
This is why his great appeals are to be free from such power and control.
"Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances (touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using) after the commandments and doctrines of men?" (Colossians 2:20-22).
Others may choose to judge us. However sincere their actions may be, or appear to be, we are not to be affected by this. When we, like Paul, walk before the Lord their verdicts are to be a "very small thing" in our sight. In fact, if we are concerned about their opinions, it will have a hindering and hampering effect.
Stop worrying about others' opinion and go on living the precious life that God has given you. Don't worry about the expectations of others. God's calling in your life is to be His unique prototype, not a stereotype; you are to be His original, not a forged copy. Abandon mere mortal expectations; real or imagined.
There are some believers who, with Paul, have learned the real source of life: their lives are the life of the Father through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. They have come to realize that their life is the new "I" – one of unique design and of divine distinctiveness. They have come to acknowledge that they are that one-of-a-kind individual that God has created them to be – filled and made vibrant with His dynamic life living in and through them. They are those who know exactly Who is living His life in them!
"I [a son of Adam] am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I [a son of God] live; yet not I [the "I' of the old creation] but Christ liveth in me [the 'me' of the new creation] and the life [the divine life of God] which I [the unique person God that has made me to be] now live in the flesh [right now, this very day] I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).
Who is living your life? Is it the former you in Adam? Is it others around you? Or is it the divine life of the Father, through the person of our Lord Jesus Christ?
-- Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.