“…. He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” -2 Cor. 5.15
Over a century ago, the great missionary Hudson Taylor coined a phrase to describe his daily experience of devotion before the Lord. He said that his life and ministry were founded on the reality established in the secret place of prayer. In communion with the Lord, he would set aside his own life and wisdom, and receive life and grace from the Lord of Glory. He called it “the exchanged life.” He laid his own life down, and received life from heaven by the power of the Spirit.
I wonder how many of we modern believers have come into the realization that the Life of heaven is available to us daily, and that we need only to willingly lay down our limited wisdom and love, and to open our hearts to a fresh reception of His great Life. Have we come into the awareness that He didn’t just die to create a religion, and that “eternal life” is not just “getting to heaven,” but knowing God Himself in the reality of vital communion? (Jn. 17.2)
Have we realized that “He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him?”
“Of course, brother. Of course we know that. We live for Jesus!”
Do we really? Do our decisions reflect that claim? Do our financial transactions bear witness to that? Do our attitudes testify to that? Do our prayer lives declare it? What about our time in the Scriptures? Do our hearts really live, and live for Him? We should not be satisfied with religious adherence to a few truths, when the glory and reality of Divine life, purity, and joy are being freely offered to us!
The apostle Paul exclaimed, “I die daily.” He did not rely on his biblical knowledge. He did not rely on his history as an apostle. He did not rely on other teachers and pastors to carry him along. He died. Every day, he laid down his wisdom and asked for resurrection life from the Throne of grace. Have you died today, dear saint? Are you really living by the life of God?
Break out of the mold you have settled into. God Himself calls you into the joy of eternal life and fellowship with Himself by the Spirit. It will require setting aside or eliminating whatever hindering objects sap your affection and time, and it will be worth it.
Exchange your life for His, today. It’s a totally uneven swap, but He gives freely the water of life to those who thirst after Him.
Hear Hudson Taylor:
Do we give sufficient attention to the theme of gaining Christ? It is our joy and privilege to know Him as God’s unspeakable gift, but none knew this more fully than the apostle Paul. But was he satisfied with the knowledge? Or was Paul’s soul-consuming desire, at all possible cost, to gain Christ; and thus to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings? Oh, that Christ may be so known by us as a living, bright reality that our one desire- our one absorbing heart-passion may be that we personally gain Christ- that we may personally know Him as the apostle longed to.