Part 13 – The Folly Of Trying To Live The Christian Life – Pt 1
If we are believers in Christ, we have the divine life within us. Period. So what does that mean to us? How does that reality help us to live the Christian Life? Is there a way that we can live the Christian Life? Here are two illustrations to help us understand the folly of what we have been trying to do.
The Horseless Carriage Illustration
A farmer in the late 1800s worked hard his whole life to provide for his wife and family. Over the years, he did his best to save for himself, a penny here, and a penny there, until finally, on the day he handed his farm over to his son, he had saved enough to buy a special retirement present for himself and his wife.
Everyone was talking about a brand new invention, called “A Horseless Carriage”. It had become the status symbol for every successful man. You could sit in it, and it would take you wherever you wanted to go. He had to have one!
A month later, the shiny new horseless carriage was delivered to his home, and parked out front. He and his wife were so excited, that when they came home, they immediately went and sat in it, for hours. Each and every afternoon, they made a habit of going out and sitting in their prize possession for a least a couple of hours. Once a week, the farmer would jump out and push the Horseless Carriage around, to the joy of his wife, but as they got older, he was forced to just sit there beside his wife. Over the years disappointment started to creep in, and they wondered why everyone had been so excited about the Horseless Carriage.
The poor farmer! No one ever took the time to explain to him that there was an engine under the hood that would self-propel the automobile!
The good news is that the Christian Life comes with its own engine, called the Holy Spirit. But sadly, many Christians still drag the Christian Life around under their own power.
The Misguided Preacher Illustration
After much study, a preacher came to the revelation that God had actually created us to be angels. In great excitement he stepped into the pulpit that Sunday and preached his message, “We Must Be Angels”.
He said, you were created to be an angel, so you must learn how to be invisible. You must also deliver messages from God, so you must learn how to fly at the speed of light. And if you don’t, God won’t be pleased with you!
The problem was, he was exhorting his congregation to live as another life form (which they found to be impossible), and he wasn’t even telling them how to do it (because there is no way!). Just as angels can’t live the human life, humans can’t live angel life.
In the same way, we were created as human beings. We aren’t called to live the Christian life — it is impossible for us to live the Christian Life! However, we can learn to let Jesus live the Christian Life in us!
(Note: I am indebted to Gene Edwards for many of the concepts in this series.)
… Next time …. Part 14 – The Folly Of Trying To Live The Christian Life – Pt 2