Taking Christ off His Cross

By Cindy Koch

I know I’m not the only one. We’ve all done it at one time or another. It usually surfaces when we are at a crossroad, important decision, or uncomfortable spot. Sometimes it is in response to something really terrible—a death, loss, or extreme sin we find within. It flashes through the mind of almost everyone who loves our Creator, Redeemer, and Preserver. We take a reflective step back and ask, “What is God’s will for my life?”

I’ve pondered that question more than once. Should I get a job to help the family budget, or should I stay at home to help with the family sanity? Should I volunteer for that stressful position again, or should I take a step back? Should I continue homeschooling, or should I trust someone else to educate my kids? Should I keep writing this blog article, or should I paint the front door? Our lives are an intricate web of vocations and actions and decisions. What is God’s will for my life?

My friends, take this question seriously because the consequences are a matter of life and death. The Lord says, “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Obedience to the will of God is no small thing. Punishment and death are for those outside of His will. Love and acceptance are for those who follow His plan. It is no wonder that this question haunts our hearts and minds.

The pressure is on. If my choice is wrong, I risk being outside of the will of God. If I stand in the way of His all-powerful design, I am opposing of the will of God. If my actions, my words, and my deeds are not right in His eyes, I stand against the will of God.

So, I listen closely to the whispers to discern God’s will for my life.

But sometimes I wonder if I hear the whispers of God in my heart. As soft and smooth as those words may be, I am not always sure that it is the voice of my Lord. The Evil One deceives us with whispers of his own. Satan’s mission is to twist the words of God. He snickers when I turn inward to listen to my dark heart as if it was the wisdom of God. The devil points me to my own actions, my words, and my deeds to accomplish the will of God.

Satan lies that I must choose wisely. He taunts that I must pick the right path. The Evil One distracts my trust in Christ with a renewed trust in myself.

When I believe Satan’s murmurs over God’s promise, and when I believe my own choices can save or damn me, I take Christ off His cross. When I elevate the unknown gods of circumstance in my everyday decisions, I have turned away from the revealed Son of God to save me. Our Savior’s bloody death was a precious present wrapped in pain, tied up with nails and torture, and given to set us free. When I step back into the chains of death, the law that is never done, depending on myself to follow the will of God, I only hurl His gift back at Him.

Yet, He forgives me—even for this.

God’s will for your life is that Christ rescues you. God’s will was done when Christ’s death killed your sin and failings. God’s will was done when His resurrection won you a perfect path for eternity. God’s will cannot be changed by any decision you make. You are righteous, not because you took the right job, said the right words, or moved to the right city. Jesus has freed you from the prison of following God’s will for your life.