Challenged to Change
Your Destiny-Jesus Alive in You
Communion: Your Destiny – Jesus Alive in You
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
Your destiny is for Christ to live in your place. That’s your destiny. That has always been your destiny. Even our use of the surname reminds us that Leitschuh, or Neveaux, or Overby, or Nelson is the family name. It emphasizes the human succession that brought you here to this world. But similarly our use even in these secular days of the term Christian name makes it plain to you that from earliest days, when the child was baptized or christened he was given a Christian name. That is the name that Christ was going to be known by in that person.
And so you can see in great wisdom the early church fathers established a practice which even in these days tells us, “You are not your own, you were bought with a price. And the purpose of your existence is that Christ would live in you but he would, in this case, be known as Joanne, as Martha, as Marty. I think it’s our great privilege to have a personal – I hate even using the word because it’s become such jargon but your great privilege and mine is to have a personal interaction, at least I’ll change it from relationship, to Jesus. But to have a personal interaction with Jesus every day so that he is able to live that day the way He wishes.
And each day that you have on earth is intended to be a great adventure. And the mixture of cynicism and skepticism with which we greet that statement indicates how deeply we have become buried in our own self so that we tend to have big adventure Monday, big adventure Tuesday. Oh yeah, it’s trying to elevate the pedestrian and the boring into the exciting and the sensational by the use of language but it isn’t. Tomorrow is an adventure for you if you step aside and let Jesus do what he wants to do with tomorrow.
But I’m with you, I’m with you, I understand it fully we have so preoccupied ourselves with ourselves. We are so full of ourselves, we are so preoccupied with our habits, with our mannerisms, with what we have done in past Mondays that it is like trying to cut through a 12 inch thick wall of steel to knock us off that perch. Because, even though we may not look like very strong people we are like bulldozers when it comes to commencement of Monday morning and to another day. And so that’s why I want to say to you so plainly, you have a great life ahead. It’s to let Christ have his place.
Now I think, there are many reasons why we don’t, one is our habits, our practices in the past. The second one is that we fall into the same trap obviously as the Jews fell into, they missed the immediacy and the freshness of actually thinking, “Christ this is your hand going out. Christ, this is your mind – what are you thinking? What do you want to do now?” They missed that and they turned it into law. And I understand fully that that is what we do.
That when I say to you, “Your destiny here on earth is for Christ to live his life, the life that he planned to live in you. Your destiny is to let him live that life and to express that life with your hands, and your feet, and your arms, and your legs, and your eyes, and your mind, and your emotions.” I understand that when you hear that you turn that immediately into, “Oh yes, I know, yes I have to try to image what Christ would do in this situation. Now, let me think … what would he do? Well, I remember what he did with Oswald Chambers, and I remember what he did with Peter in that instance in the New Testament.” And before you know it – you’re into a whole series of laws and imitations, and practices, and principles, and habits, and yet again Christ is standing behind saying, “Eh, em…. look here I am.”
“But you did this with Peter. Yes, I remember that he did that. Now, in this situation I remember Pastor said you should…” “But, I am here to do it myself.” “Yes, but I remember what eh, eh, eh Lloyd Jones said, or I remember in this situation…” And that’s it. Somehow or other we’re preoccupied with the law and with the way to be like Christ and Christ to say, “I am here. I do not need you to be like me I am within you to be myself; let me.” And that’s it.
I don’t think I’m dumb, I know and you know, that that is a bigger surrender. That is a bigger surrender than the other one. The other one is a controlled one, “I ought to do what Oswald Chambers – give me a freedom not to do it. I ought to do what Lloyd Jones did. I ought to do what Pastor. It stood gave me the freedom not to do it.” This surrender doesn’t give me that freedom. This surrender means I can put this along with other things. “I ought to try to be like Christ there but of course, I have my own interest over here and I know what I want to do with the afternoon. I should remember in the afternoons George Muller always used to…. so I should try to.” So again, I’m in control. Consider this instead – I’m not in control – indeed I have no other interest but this Person. I know nothing except Christ and him crucified.
For me to live is not doing like George Mueller, doing like Oswald Chambers, and doing all the other things I want to do myself and I’m interested in doing – it’s Christ only. It’s Christ alone, he is everything to me. He is the whole center of my intentions, and my interest, and my attention. He is everything. I am – if you like, I know nothing except Christ and him crucified. For me to live is Christ. For me to live is not this, and this, and this, to me to live is Christ.
All I’d say to you is that is why we were created. That’s why we were created. All the other things are, as that piece in the scripture says, you know, that we use so often, “Is a civilian pursuit.” All the other things are civilian pursuits. But you see I think, sometimes we feel, “Oh no! Christ! ….. so every moment I have a long robe, and I’m healing lepers?” That’s stupid. Christ is the one that made tennis rackets, Christ is the one that made the birds, Christ is the one that made water skis, Christ is the one that made the wind, and the sea, and swimsuits, Christ is the one that made music. Of course, he wants to do all kinds of things in you and through you.
But do you see, I think we still get into a religious picture that we ourselves could not bear to live and so we end up looking back at that picture from time-to-time and looking at the things we ought to do, and then living all the other things. It’s not. It’s Christ. Christ planned to live in you a life here in the 20th century that he alone could live and a life that he could live in you alone, in no one else can he live it. And that’s what our life is for and that’s why I saw in a way each day is meant to be an adventure. We’ll, we joke about that little guy, we say, “Oh what would he do?” Well of course any time he saw us getting dressed at all he’d say, “Okay, where are we going? Where are we going?” And he’d be jumping up and down eager and anxious to get going.
And of course it’s funny because when we traveled you know, we’d get out the bag, he’d jump on the bag because he knew he stood a better chance of maybe somebody getting him into the case, you know. That’s what it was meant to be. “Lord, what are we going to do today? What are we going to do today?” Not, “Well, I have to do this and that, and I have to remember this,” and I, I, I, right in the center of it all the big producer and director of the whole show. No, “Lord, what are we going to do today?” That would please him so much.
Let us pray. Dear Lord, how little you ask of us and how much you have given to us. How little you ask. What joy would fill your heart if we stand out of the way and accept that we have ceased to
exist, that blessedly we have ceased to exist on Calvary and we have been crucified with you and it is no longer us that are alive but you who are alive within what used to be us. Oh Lord Jesus, we would look into your face and dwell upon this reality until you make it real in us every second of our lives.