Between Thieves

For 34 years now, God has wisely and patiently peeled away the skin of Galatians 2:20 for me to apply. The most recent revelation occurred last week as I meditated on the phrase, “the life I now live, I live by faith.”
Whether it’s in the day to day, or in face of steep temptation, to live by faith takes shoe leather, sometimes ugly, gritty and always human. But it’s not our effort so much as surrender that wins the fight for faith. Paul tells us the secret of living by faith is death between thieves.
Jesus hung on the cross between two men, men who spoke their mind in those final moments. In a very real sense, they are still speaking today to you and me, trying to woo us away from faith and into living by our senses. Their voices have two distinct messages, and some days they are louder than others.
The first message comes from the ‘good’ thief, for that day he entered paradise with Jesus. His soft pleasant voice grabs at my attention, tickles and flatters my senses; and can be deadly to my spirit. If I listen long enough, I find myself leaning forward and bringing his words into my belief system, like rolling in a Trojan horse. I receive them as gift, but in the end they conquer my spirit. If I rely on others words as more tangible than Christ’s, I will lose nerve in the fight of faith. That’s because no man’s words last even to the next hill to climb.
The second message comes from the other thief; call him the ‘bad’ one, for his derisive voice mocked our Savior. He speaks accusing, deflating words, unceasing and generous rejection. If I let this frontal assault dissolve my defenses, I soon believe the lies. They too dismantle my belief system, because rejection is an easy pill to swallow, and near impossible to forget. The seeds of it lie scattered on fertile memory, and if left alone choke my faith.
I can be neutralized by the voices on both side of me, unless I embrace my position in that place between thieves. I am crucified with Christ! That means I don’t have to listen to the voices, but can strain my inner ear to hear the only Voice that matters, and who reminds me, “The life I now live, I live by faith!”
The other day in a moment of fresh surrender, I acknowledged that the voices on both sides of me had won battles on the field of my belief system. That’s when I paraphrased my weapon of choice in the fight for faith—Galatians 2:20.
“I am dead to all feelings, knowledge, voices or experience running cross grain to the Living Word. I am no longer alive, I was nailed to a cross beam with Jesus, and He has taken a dead spirit and breathed life, resurrection life into it, His very life. Though I still put on my shoes in the morning, hit my head on low objects, and cry over sappy songs, I do all by faith. It is literally no longer I who lives, so faith must be re-awakened every moment, because the back story of my small life is an enormous colossal moment in time when God carried me with Him in death, in order to show me how to live in Love.”

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Michelle says:

    So needed to read this in the daily battle. The Lord has been speaking the same to me. Thanks, bro!

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