“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”
Colossians 3:3, NIV
Once I saw a magician make a person disappear. I have always thought that was one of the most difficult magic tricks to do. What we are called on to do in this text is even harder. The good news is that Christ has already done it! We are called to acknowledge and identify with Christ’s death and resurrection: “If we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection.” (Romans 6:5) What has died is what we were. We are now a new creation in Christ. The mandate is to live our lives in the reality of this truth. That means the priority is the desire and will of God in Christ. I disappear and Christ is magnified. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” This is the principle of disappearance.
The challenge, of course, is to actually achieve it. It means I wake up in the morning prepared to seek the will and glory of God in all I do. I begin my day with a prayer that the Holy Spirit will empower me to face every decision as though Christ were making it. Every attitude is a reflection of my status in Christ. I do not live anymore; my life is hidden. It is now Christ who lives through me by the surrender of my agenda to His. After all, dead people do not have agendas!
The great theologian and martyr at the hand of Nazi Germany, Dietrich Bonheoffer, once said, “When Jesus calls a man, He bids him come and die.” He might well have been referring to today’s text. There is far too little sense of this principle in today’s Christian. Insisting on our desires in spite of our status in Christ is a form of rebellion. We seem more often to be in a battle with God’s plan than surrendered to it.
QUESTION: In what ways are you still front and center in your life? How can you begin practicing the principle of disappearance?