I remember my water baptism very well, don't you? That was many years ago, but I found myself taking that memory out today and asking myself 'am I totally submerged in the life Christ prepared for me?'
I found the dictionary description very interesting as I re-evaluated that significant point in my life. There are three definitions for the word 'submerged':
1 : to put under water
2 : to cover or overflow with water
3 : to make obscure or subordinate
The first two definitions described the action that signaled a new beginning in Christ, but when I read the third, my thoughts ran much deeper. Part of me, the new part, hidden in Christ was to remain submerged from that day forward. All these years later can I say, as Paul so aptly put it, '...it is no longer I who lives... but Christ who lives in me...'?
How much of me still refuses to become subordinate and obscure, allowing the fullness of His Kingship to reign and rule?
17th Century theologian Francois Fenelon writes: "By the circumcision of your heart you are made children of Abraham. Like him you must leave your native country and all that is familiar to you, and go out without even knowing where you are going. What a blessing! Leave everything and deliver yourself up to a God who loves you jealously!
You, by yourself, can only accomplish shallow changes. You do not know yourself. God knows you deeply, and knows exactly where to dig up the source of your troubles. Self-love is cowardly. The self does not have the courage to wound itself to death. The hand of God strikes in unexpected places and leaves nothing uncovered. Your self-love will cry out where God hits it. See to it that you do nothing to comfort it. Just sit back and let God do His work. Stay still as He operates on you and His work will be a success.
I am inspired by John the Baptist who completely forgot himself that he might think only of Christ. He pointed to Christ with his whole life. What an example he sets before you!"
Indeed, this is the example of the 'submerged life' that makes me question, 'will I ever embody the courage to live so fully for Him, that as Paul said. 'it is no longer I who live...'
Like Abraham, have I truly left my native country and all that is familiar to me, behind? Or do I, because it is so radical to do otherwise, hang on to parts of 'the old country'...the bits and pieces of the world systems that keep me comfortable, while robbing me of this 'submerged life' that God had planned for me?
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20 KJV
How about you? Is your life totally submerged in Christ? Or are you hanging on to a raft propelled by 'self-love' that keeps you floating gently over the surface of this magnificant salvation that is so much deeper than we can ever imagine?