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What is the Meaning of Life

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Lesson 130 of 208
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Faith and Miracles

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WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE? Program 130 Faith and Miracles by Ernest O’Neill

You’re in the office and the battle is roaring back and forth. There is a tremendous disaster that has taken place in the company. Everybody is assigning the blame to all the participants. Everybody, of course, is defending themselves like mad. In the course of the conversation a few arrows are shot in your direction. Then, as you fail to respond to them, a few more arrows follow. Then, of course, a lot of stones. Then, eventually, some heavy rocks.

There rises in you at that moment a tremendous sense of injustice and of righteous indignation. You feel this has gone far enough. You’re going to wipe out at them, and you’re going to tidy up this whole business and point out to them exactly who was responsible for what, and exactly how innocent you were in the whole operation.

Then there rises inside you a very tiny, tiny, weak, little feeling that suggests, “Why not be quiet? Why not just let it go and be quiet? There’s no point in confusing the thing by adding yet another series of accusations. Let’s just be quiet and let’s see where it goes.”

But, of course, there is in you such a fear of what will happen to you if you let them continue to accuse you wrongly and you let yourself become the scapegoat for the whole tragedy, there is such a fear in you about what will happen to your job, your future, and, especially, what other people will think of you, that you squash that little feeling of generosity and bravery.

You jump right in and continue to contribute to the general chaos and conflict of accusations. Of course, you know how the day ends. It ends in absolute dissatisfaction for everybody, with everybody hating everybody else, and you in a turmoil of feelings of hostility towards people who were your friends. Now, why are you unable to respond to the little generous feeling inside of you? We’ve already stated it. It’s partly because you’re scared of what will happen to your job.

You’re scared of what will happen to your own reputation. If you don’t defend yourself, they’ll mow over the top of you and destroy you completely and take your job from you. That feeling comes from the fact that you sense there’s nobody really to look after you in this office but yourself. If you don’t protect your own rights here, nobody else is likely to protect you. That, of course, comes from the fact that you really live like a practical atheist in that situation. You live like a practical atheist.

You live the life of a person who doesn’t believe that there’s any Creator or any God who will look after your rights for you. Because of that, you have to depend utterly on yourself. That’s why you can’t afford to respond to that little, generous feeling that you have. Where does the little, generous feeling come from? It’s amazing. What we’ve been saying over the past few weeks is that it comes from your new nature, which the Creator of the universe has made for you in His Son Jesus. That’s it.

Your old nature, that old self that doesn’t believe there is a God, that believes you have to stand up for yourself and that if you don’t stand up for yourself, you’ll be trampled underfoot — that old nature was crucified with Christ. That’s what the Bible says. Our old self was crucified with Christ. That old self which you have developed from a basic disbelief in any Creator, and a belief that you have to depend on yourself alone, that old self was crucified by the Creator of the universe in timeless eternity in his Son Jesus.

That was expressed in 29 A.D. in the death of Jesus on the cross in Palestine. But, the destruction of that old self of yours actually took place in eternity where God foresaw that that’s the kind of a nature that you would develop by choosing to live apart from Him. That old self has been crucified. It’s actually the sense that that has been destroyed and that your Father will take care of your job and will protect you and will stand up for your rights. It’s that that produces in you that tiny little feeling of generosity that you felt in the midst of the conflict in the office.

But, of course, the other nature is stronger in you. The old self is something that you’ve inherited from your parents and from your grandparents and from their forefathers and that has been the one that you’ve followed for years. So, you have confirmed that and affirmed that again and again in your own life. It has become incredibly strong.

But that old nature has been destroyed by the Creator in his Son Jesus. That’s why that nature brings you such sadness and such despair and such guilt when you follow it, because actually you have within you a cosmic memory that that has been destroyed by the Creator of the world and that it no longer exists. It’s actually dead. It’s the sense of deadness that comes to you when you feel guilt.

It’s the sense that this has already been condemned and that it is non-existent that brings you such sadness when you align yourself with it. It’s the conviction of your conscience that you’re aligning yourself with a lie, with a star that has already died, and all that you’re aligning yourself with is the light that still comes from it. Now, how do you actually allow that old nature to be destroyed completely in you? Well, simply by being willing.

That’s part of what faith is. It’s believing that the Creator has destroyed that in his Son Jesus and being willing for it to be destroyed in you. What does that mean? Well, it means being willing to act the same way as He acted. You remember? On the Cross. I don’t know if you know the story. He was hanging on the cross. The Roman soldiers were taunting Him. The crowd around and underneath Him were saying, “If you’re the Son of God, call upon your God and He’ll send hundreds and thousands of angels, and they’ll destroy this whole place to deliver you.”

Well, actually He could have done that, but He refused to do it. He determined that He would let His Father do what He wanted with Him. If His Father wanted to save Him, He would let Him save Him. If He wanted to let Him die and then raise Him from the dead, He would let Him do that. But, He would trust His Father to defend His rights and his job and his possessions. Actually, it’s the same with you.

If you are willing to take the same attitude as Jesus did to the limited powers that people have over your destiny, then you will find that the Creator Himself will step forward and will actually defend you and will protect your rights. Above all that, He will begin to infuse into you the same spirit that His Son had — a spirit that begets a love for those who are actually attacking you, that begets a concern for those who are actually trying to put you down.

The first step towards that miracle taking place in your life is a willingness to actually be crucified with Christ, a willingness for that old, independent, stubborn, self-conscious, self-existent nature to be destroyed in Jesus, and to bear the same things that He bore. In other words, it’s really a willingness to die to what the world can give you.

It’s a willingness to die to the security that the things you can get on the stock market, or elsewhere, can give you. It’s a willingness to die to the sense of self-worth and value that other people’s opinions can give you, a willingness to die to the apparent happiness that satisfactory circumstances can give you, and a

readiness to trust God, your Creator and Father, to provide you with all the security, all the sense of self-worth and value, all the happiness that He decides you should have.

How do you come into a freedom from this old nature, from this Mr. Hyde that wreaks havoc in your life? Just be willing to be crucified with Christ. With Him, die to the things and the circumstances and the people of the world and be content to depend instead on God, your kind and dear and faithful Father. That’s it. It’s a willingness to depend on God, rather than on the world.

The moment you begin to exercise that willingness and to live it out in your own life, to commit your will to it, that moment He begins to put into you a spirit and an attitude that is fragrant with a love of other people and a love of God and a peace that passes all understanding. In other words, you commit your will; he changes your heart. You commit your will to the action and the behavior that is appropriate to a person who has been crucified with Christ, and God fills you with the love that Christ had for the Roman soldiers that crucified Him.

That’s how the miracle takes place. Willingness. Let’s talk a little more tomorrow about the amazing power that makes all this real in your life today.

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