Have you ever stumbled across a phrase or sentence, or even a movie (Finding Nemo was a huge one for me), that finally took what you were carrying around in your head, sometimes for years, and placed it directly into your heart? That’s exactly what happened to me about a year ago. I was reading a book about how we died in Christ and became a new creation, and stumbled upon a simple phrase in the form of a question that changed my life. I love when that happens. Actually, I don’t even remember the name of the book. 

I became a Christian in August 1988.  As a baby Christian, I was fortunate to find a ministry called, Lifetime Guarantee, whose founders, Bill and Anabel Gillham, were gifted in explaining who we are in Christ, and how to live the victorious Christian life. Their use of humor and practical examples made it simple and easy to understand. I attended their basic seminar and bought the corresponding set of tapes containing six cassettes. I was eager to get this teaching inside me, so I continued studying and listening, and managed to wear out two sets of the same tapes.  I then purchased the advanced seminar set containing the same number of tapes and continued on with the same gusto.  From that effort as a new Christian, God placed within me, a good understanding of who I was in Christ and how to live the victorious Christian life.  I knew I had a solid foundation upon which to build.  Remember, this was twenty-two years ago.  Little did I know that much of what I had learned still remained in my head.   

You may be asking, “Why is she telling me all this?”  Well, here’s why. This one little question that I read in a book, the name of which I can’t even remember, changed my life forever, and I’m hoping it will change yours, too.

Here’s the rest of the story!  It was around September 2009 when I read this book. It was about dying in Christ at the cross and rising in Him as a new creation.  Much to my surprise, in between the dying and raising up a new creation appeared this life-changing question:

I had to think about it a while to get the full implication.  Here’s the mental process that started me on that proverbial 18” journey from my head to my heart. In order to personalize and own this supernatural phenomenon, I had to see it as something God did just for me. No one else was there, just Jesus and me.  I suggest you do the same. 

My inward dialog went something like this, “Since Jesus is the only one of us Who has resurrection power, I’m a dead goose; I’m stuck down here; I can’t get out in my own strength. Now, what am I going to do?” 

Part of my early teaching imparted a clear (or clear as is humanly possible) understanding of how God operates outside the time dimension, and I knew He did a whole bunch of stuff, like choosing me in Christ, before He ever said, “Let there be light.”  Check it out.

Eph. 1:4 NLT. (Scripture in bold text)
4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ [underline-my emphasis] to be holy and without fault in his eyes. [My comment:  Since I was in Christ before God made the world, that means when Christ showed up on planet earth, I was in Him.  It also means that when He began His ministry, I was in Him; when He raised Lazarus from the dead, I was in Him, and when He willingly crawled up on that cross, I was in Him.

Here’s what happened next:

Gal. 2:20 NLT. (Scripture in bold text)
20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. [My comment:  I was in Him on the cross, and when He died, I died, and so did the power of sin in my life (the “old man”, or who I used to be in Adam, is dead), and I don’t have to sin anymore (Col 1:13 CEV).  So, when He was buried, I was buried, but wait a minute, since he’s the only one Who has resurrection power, how am I going to get out of this grave? 

Here’s how: 

Like a father saving his child from a burning building, Jesus grabbed me, and as we began to move, I saw Him reach deeply into His chest and pull out His heart that contained His mind, thoughts, feelings and will for my life (1 Cor. 2:16), and place it within me. With power greater than a rocket ship taking off for outer space (His Resurrection power), we shot up out of that grave, and I instantly became a new creation in Christ Jesus. [1 Pet.1:3]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, [My comment:  I live by faith, believing that Jesus’ life is in me] who loved me and gave himself for me.  And that’s when I BECAME Galatians 2:20.

I believe by faith that I can’t even “tie my shoes”* without Christ doing it through me.  In a nutshell, there’s only one person Who can live the Christian life, and that’s Jesus Christ.* He wants to use my unique personality through my specially formed body to express His life through me to a hurting and dying world.  That’s the only life I have* - His life - and that’s the only life you have, too.  I urge you to make this personal.  He would have gone to the cross if you were the only one in this world.  That’s how much He loves you. Step out in faith, today, and begin the most exciting journey of your life - the 18 inches from your head to your heart. To God be all the glory! 

*Bill Gillham, Lifetime Guarantee quotes