Week One – Day 1
TODAY’S FAST – Fast one meal today and use that time as an appointment with God
Starting off this journey by reading Galatians 2:20 is incredibly appropriate. There is a popular half-truth being taught in the church today. This teaching attracts those interested in God but fails to give them all that God desires. The mantra of some contemporary Christian congregations is that a relationship with Jesus costs you nothing because Jesus has done all the work. Though Christ has paid the price which we lack the funds to pay, our relationship with Him does cost us something: It costs us everything. It costs us our entire lives.
If there was one man to ever live who could exemplify what it meant to be “crucified with Christ,” it was Paul. This man was a former murderer of Christians whom Jesus saved. Paul’s zeal for the truth—that resulted in multiple killings—could not simply be cleaned up; it needed to be redeemed. It needed to be made new. After his encounter with Christ, Paul would go on to become a missionary and biblical writer, expanding to the ends of the earth the same message that he had once tried to stop. Paul shows us exactly what needs to happen for a person to experience the full life that Jesus promised: One needs to count the cost, and lay down everything.
Too many times we come to Christ with the expectation that He is going to take our lives and fix them up. However, God won’t do anything with that which does not fully belong to Him. In order to really experience the power of God, one must be willing to give up ownership of their life. We are each called to “Deny ourselves,” and “Daily take up our own cross.” Though we continue to live in the earthly body we’ve been given, there is a supernatural shift in mindset from “My will be done” to “Thy will be done.” We literally become dead to our old selves, and take up the new and everlasting life He so desires to give us.
Today’s prayer focus is simple, and yet probably the most difficult prayer you will ever have to pray. Today, whether for the first time or the hundredth time, pray that you will be able to lay down your life (all of it; the good, the bad, and the ugly) in exchange for His life. Pray that you would hold nothing back; that you would exist completely for your Heavenly Father in the example of Christ, who denied Himself to the point of death, even death on the cross, to the glory of God the Father.
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 NLT