Taken from Pete’s series Dance Lessons.
He thought her beautiful, believed her impeccably wise; dreamed of her, wrote poems to her, which, ignoring the subject, she corrected in red ink. — Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
There’s a secret to reading Scripture so it makes sense. Really, there is. If you are one of those who struggles to turn the pages because the Bible doesn’t seem to make sense, this secret is for you:
Everything written before Jesus is pointing to Jesus. Everything written after Jesus is pointing to Jesus.
Jesus is the central subject in the Bible. So when we read a story about David or Noah or Isaiah, we can ask ourselves: What is this telling me about God? How does this point toward Jesus?
This same subject confusion can plague the Christian life. I can get caught up in: Where am I supposed to go? Who am I supposed to serve? What am I supposed to care about?
These aren’t bad questions. But the subject of each is all wrong. Life in Christ isn’t about accolades and accomplishments. It’s about Jesus alive in me.
Paul is writing to the church in Galatia, and essentially to all of us, and he’s telling us how to live this life in Christ. It’s his personal statement of faith, and it sounds something like this:
- I’m dead.
- I’m indwelt.
- I’m depending.
“I have been crucified with Christ… I’m dead... and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. I’m indwelt. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God… I’m depending.” (Galatians
2:20, additions and emphasis mine)
Here are some better questions: Who is my strength? Who is my love? Who is the overflow of grace in my life? The answer is simple. It isn’t Pete. It’s Jesus.
God Whose Spirit lives in me, I’ve been trying to live as the star of my own show, and I’m exhausted. Instead, I long to follow the example of that first star the night You came to earth. Let Your Spirit shine in me and point to You. Amen.