I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
When I read this verse, two things happen. First, I hear the tune we learned it to in Team 3, the in-house Awana-like program I attended as a child. Second, I automatically think about how I need to stop living for myself and start living for Christ. I don’t want to belittle that; it’s a valuable reminder of a fitting and important truth.
However, this verse tells us more than that we need to stop living for ourselves and start living for Christ. It also assures us that we can stop living by ourselves and start really living by Christ. Christ lives in us. What we couldn’t do we now can do and what we couldn’t not do we’re able to refuse. We can become who we weren’t and move on from who we were. We can be loved by God and love God and love like God, all because Christ has stooped and delighted to live in us. We can live by faith in Christ because Christ has been, is, and will be faithful.
The very practical point that should not be missed in this claim that the reality of heaven is now in some sense “accessible” to the church is that the very transformative energy of the age to come (“the powers of the coming age” [Heb 6:5]) is already being made available to the church for its ministry and mission. Alas, all too often the church today is being run on the natural energies of this age, rather than the supernatural energy loosed by the resurrection of Jesus and the descent of the Spirit! If we have lost our heavenly imagination, we will be disinclined to access, by faith and prayer, the heavenly energy from above.
-John Jefferson Davis, Meditation and Communion with God, kindle loc. 1186