Why I No Longer Go to the Cross

Why I No Longer Go to the Cross

Where do you meet up with God?

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I try to study the Bible every day but it?s a discipline I struggle with. So, I signed up with an online Bible study group a few months ago, mainly for accountability. I need to seek the face of Jesus through His word because I?m broken like everyone else and the Bible is my only remedy for repair. It?s days like this one, the one I?m about to share when my diligence and His grace meet up that I know my commitment is not in vain. I share this interesting series of events with you in hopes it gives you the freedom it gave me.

There?s no such thing as a random event, everything is orchestrated by God.

This day started like all others

I made my tea and sat in my office, which doubles as my prayer room. It was a new week and our online study group had just completed a 40-day prayer challenge, Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson, which actually took us 8 weeks because we only study Monday to Friday. We had nothing planned to fill in the 2-week period between studies so our leader posted three Bible verses for us to ponder and discuss. The verses she chose were 1 Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 3:2?3, and 1 Corinthians 10:24.

God works tirelessly behind the scenes perfecting His gifts.

Seek and you will find

We were encouraged to review these verses using different Bible translations. I read each verse in The Message, The Passion Translation, and the New King James Version. Though each version helped me understand the passages a bit more I was drawn mostly to The Message version this day.

It?s not about me

As I read and pondered these verses what floated to the top for me was this long-forgotten truth; It?s not about me!

?At the same time, don?t be callous in your exercise of freedom, thoughtlessly stepping on the toes of those who aren?t as free as you are.? (1 Corinthians 10:31?33, MSG)

God first convicts

This first verse convicted me as soon as I read it. I was guilty of thoughtlessly stepping on toes in the past. Expecting others to be like me, and not thinking of my level of freedom compared to theirs. I often pushed my ideas on others. I started thinking, no wonder I get the looks I get from people sometimes. I never realized until that moment what I had been doing. I thought my intentions were good.

My intentions were more for my glory, not God?s.

Old habits die hard

My actions in the past had been out of habit, that?s how I had always done things. I started to wonder how I could do things differently. That made the next verses very helpful to me.

?Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ ? that?s where the action is. See things from his perspective.? (Colossians 3:2?4, MSG)

?But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well.? (1 Corinthians 10:24, MSG)

A new idea was starting to form in my mind

Christ is alive and active today, and I need to seek that Christ. My current habits and actions were mired in the old law and centered around the old Christ. God was showing me a new Christ and that He comes bearing a new message.

Instead of looking back I needed to look up.

Our leader also suggested we review an online devotional site by Oswald Chambers. I felt I still needed some clarity on the matter I was pondering so I went to see what Oswald had to say.

?We are only what we are in the dark; all the rest is reputation. What God looks at is what we are in the dark ? the imaginations of our minds; the thoughts of our hearts; the habits of our bodies; these are the things that mark us in God?s sight.? ? Oswald Chambers, Sill Human!

And the circle was complete

As everything was coming together in my mind, my thoughts went back to something that happened in church the day before. Our minister had us close our eyes momentarily and approach God in our minds. I did this easily because I envision Christ often when I pray. When we opened our eyes, she asked us where we had met up with God.

Had we met up with God in the past, in the dusty desert, with Jesus at the foot of the Cross? Or had we met up with Him in His current glory as Jesus, high and lifted up, shining as our resurrected life and hope? She continued on, reminding us that Jesus is alive today, so we don?t have to seek Him in the past.

Jesus made a new life possible for all of us with His death on the cross.

It was all starting to become clear. I had been seeking Christ from the foot of the cross, out of habit. I had gotten accustomed to laying my burdens at His feet, pitifully pleading for His promises of hope and a new life. I kept going back and repeating the same requests, expecting a different outcome each time.

God showed me a new way

I was reminded, not only is God?s word living and active, so is Jesus. Yes, He suffered a horrible death so that we could be free, but He rose again in full splendor. Yes, God established detailed and explicit rules and laws early on because our true nature is sinful. He knew we needed some way to manage the chaos. But then He sent us Jesus, who replaced all of those laws with these two, only.

?And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.? This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ?You shall love your neighbor as yourself.? There is no other commandment greater than these.? (Mark 12:30?31, NIV)

God showed me it?s time to shed my old habits and replace them with new ones. It?s time to seek the Christ who is high and lifted up, so I will look up and ahead, not back!

My prayer is to be a beacon for others, drawing them to the living God.

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