Can Christ use us? Absolutely, but we must realize that it is Him working in us from the inside out.
1 Do not envy the wicked, do not desire their company; 2 for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble. Instead, 3 Allow wisdom to build her house in you, establishing its foundations through understanding, and filling its rooms with rare and beautiful treasures of the intimate and first-hand knowledge of God, His Love and His Plan. (paraphrased)
In the same way that Christ took people’s sin and transformed it into godly compassion for them, we can do the same if we are “hooked up” to the Spirit. When we are walking with Him and centered on Him, even the most heinous of crimes can be converted into compassion toward our aggressor. Thus, “Hit me again and my prayers for you will become even more fervent.”
So, again I ask, if we are like Christ, and He works in us and through us, can we be agents of change for sinners? Consider this: If someone attacks me and I am led by the Spirit to respond rather than react, then I take their sin and give it back as compassion. I am more like my heavenly Father right then than ever before. I become a sin-transmuter: I take their sin against me and transform it into compassion and give it back. My definition of “agape’ love,” God-love, is compassion. It’s what Jesus had on the masses (Matthew 9:36, 14:14, 20:34). Because I am being obedient to the Spirit, I don’t have to worry about retribution on my enemy. In fact, my hope is that my faith would lead him to faith in Christ. Neither do I have to worry about my family. The God who takes care of me is taking care of my family.
I realize that in America, we don’t get much of a chance to die for the sake of Jesus, but we ARE called to die daily to ourselves. It is in that daily death that we reach the capacity to give our lives when called upon (Luke 16:10). This way of daily living keeps us from experiencing Proverbs 24:10, “If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength [faith].” In fact, if we die daily to ourselves, we will have the mind of Christ, who was all about “rescuing those being led away to death, holding back those staggering toward slaughter” (Proverbs 24:11-adapted).
Here are two verses I am committing to memory:
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:11
24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
Jesus put it this way, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
Let’s die to ourselves and live for Christ today, right now. It’s important–no, it’s VITAL!
Abba, I give You my life today. I count myself dead to sin and its influence on me. Help me to see things through Your eyes and from Your perspective. Give me everything I need to do Your will as You direct my path. I am Yours. Amen.