“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV
It is only when looking at Christ’s sacrificial atonement on the Cross that we realize our true identity both in and apart from Him.
Christ is the Founder and the Perfecter of our faith. Without Christ we have nothing and are nothing. We may assume that we are good in ourselves. We may believe we do good - which may be true - however, every good deed done apart from Christ is simply self. We are seekers and desires of appreciation and credit. Whenever we are inclined to do right, we want to receive gratification and publicize our efforts. It is only when looking at Christ’s sacrificial atonement on the Cross that we realize our true identity both in and apart from Him.
Our thoughts alone would expose just how wicked each and every one of us are to the world.
When we meditate on what Christ did for us, we should be brought to humble adoration. We should think of ourselves lower than the dust of the ground for believing we have goodness in us. Our thoughts alone would expose just how wicked each and every one of us are. We lust, get angry, hate, and are men and women filled with pride, envy, and bitterness. We are able to control our thoughts just as well as a child can control their temper when their favorite toy is snatched from their hands.
If our intentions are impure, yet we do what is right externally, our efforts are in vain.
We would presume we are good and may fool multitudes, externally; but God does not view the external. God looks at the heart and what lingers within. If our intentions are impure, yet we do what is right externally, our efforts are in vain. “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away” (Isaiah 64:6 ESV).
When we choose to die to self, we then can begin to enter fully into the heart of Thee Divine One.
The quickest way towards humbling ourselves is to put our good works at the foot of the Cross. It is here where our comparison must begin. As Christ’s Blood dripped from His hands and feet, we must reflect on the reality that Divinity descended from Heaven to be beaten, forsaken, and killed by His own creation. Having done nothing wrong, He was crucified and became both our Substitute and Representative. It is at the Cross where we see the foolishness of our desire to ascend in this life. If the Son of God, Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior was willing to descend to provide life to all men, then we as born again believers must be willing to descend into death. We must die to our false presumptions that we have any value to add to what Christ has already done. Once this point is reached, we can then begin to enter fully into the heart of Thee Divine One. We can walk not in our own strength or merit, but in what Christ’s atoning sacrifice has offered and given.
Let us look to the Cross in order to reflect within.
Let us therefore look to the Cross in order to reflect within. What lingers and captivates us? What are we motivated by? Do we believe apart from Christ we are good people? What if our thoughts were exposed for all to see? Would we be okay with the world knowing what lies within us?
We are nothing apart from Christ. We are everything in Christ.
We are nothing apart from Christ. We are everything in Christ. Let us press into a living relationship with the One Who sits at the right hand of our Heavenly Father. His hand is reaching out. Let us deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is the Way the Truth and the Life (John 14:6).
Sovereign Lord, we come before you in humility and reverence of You. Forgive us, O Lord, of our stupidity. Forgive us of believing we are good people. One month’s exposure of our thoughts would reveal to the whole world who we truly are. Holy Spirit, help us to deny ourselves and look within. Give us the boldness and humility to be honest with our inner life. By the Blood of Jesus Christ, may we be cleansed of all unrighteousness. By the power of Your Holy Spirit, may we be strengthened in the newness of life. Work a miracle in us, O God. May we reflect the image of Him Who paid the penalty for our sins. In Jesus’ name, Amen.