I’ve seen a lot of online chatter the last few days about being willing to decrease in order for Christ in us to increase (John 3:30).
This brought to my mind the thought of making room in ourselves and in the ekklesia for Christ to be enlarged. If I have not emptied myself, how can I be filled with Someone else?
Which begs the question: is my life about what I want or is it about what Christ wants?
It’s a lot like when I clean out my garage. As I have learned to make room for Christ in me, I’ve been able to toss some things out in the garbage. And that is liberating.
I’ve thrown away man-made religion, trusting in my efforts to make me right with God, thinking poorly of others, being “puffed-up” with knowledge, worrying, fear, defending my reputation, focusing on right doctrine above right relationships, treating others without respect, gossiping, and the list goes on. These things left me no space to store the new things that Christ was waiting to give me.
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. (Ephesians 1:3 NLT)
And of course, this is an ongoing process… that garage never seems to clean itself. Almost every time I go in my garage I realize there are things that I don’t need. It is the same when I look at myself in the light of Christ.
7-9 The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.
10-11 I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it. (Philippians 3:7-11 MSG)