And now the sequence of events in no particular order… – Dan Rather, U.S.Television Newscaster
Sequence matters. If we get the order of things mixed up, everything gets messed up. Just ask a cook or a mechanic. Same thing goes in our dance with Christ.
In our spiritual life if we get things in the wrong order, we might live with the idea that we have two natures that are in conflict: Who we used to be versus who we are now in Jesus. A good dog and a bad dog fighting inside of us for control of our soul. Under legalistic teaching, it becomes our job to tame the bad one – our old self.
But this is not what the New Testament teaches, friends. We can’t skip the sequence; sequence matters. Galatians 2:20 shows us the order:
- I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live. The old self, the old nature is history, past tense, done with. Who you once were died on the cross with Jesus.
- But Christ lives in me. The bad has been replaced by the best. The Spirit of Jesus lives inside you now – He is active and present in you. Incredible, yet true!
- The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. This is when you begin to participate in what God has already done through Jesus. Now you live by faith, by trusting what God has already done and what Christ will do through you.
We simply trust because we have died with Him and are indwelt by Him. It’s a beautiful relationship – a dance of dependence upon Jesus and His Spirit to live through us.
But remember, the sequence matters. Otherwise, you will find yourself trying to live by faith and trust according to your own strength, and this isn’t possible. This is bondage – trying to live like Christ without the strength and character of Christ living through us.
Lord, I’ve been living this life of faith my way. I’ve come to You on my terms and announced to You my sin and my plan to eradicate it from my own life. No wonder I continuously fall short. No wonder I feel like such a failure. Sequence matters. I ask that You would ingrain the proper order in my mind, so I can live it today. Please renew my thinking. I’ve been forgetting the order: I’ve died with Christ. I’m home to your Spirit. By Your grace, I will live in faith simply because it is a fruit of that same Spirit! Thank You for this freedom. Amen.