Vicarious or Victorious?
Not too long ago I met a middle aged former convict who served 10 years in the penitentiary, Shane. He was very nice but you could definitely spot that he was from the streets. It's funny how God works because prior to meeting him my car died in the middle of a gas station parking lot just a little while before Shane and his wife pulled up next to me...talk about celestial appointments through physical disappointment. Anyways, Shane proceeded to ask me to use my phone to call someone he knew. Being careful as I am I was ready for anything, but through talking to him and I handing him a Million Dollar bill gospel tract, he said he was a Christian.
That sparked my interest because a lot of former convicts who I volunteer with claim to have found Christ and are genuine ( and I would say they are the most genuine if truly saved, out of all kinds of Christians) I always test people to see if that is true, because to be honest, Jesus said "many will come in my name" and claim that they serve him, and many will be disappointed. I don't want that to ever happen to anyone I minister to...
Nevertheless, we talked about his relationship with Jesus and he stated that he committed his life a couple of years ago but was stuck in a dead end position working for a dead end job. He proceeded to tell me how his son was making over 100K a year, had a good life, better than his father. He seemed very sad in how his life turned out and I felt that he was living vicariously through his son in some sense.
I told him that God wanted to act on his behalf but he needed to examine his life and see what is keeping him from God's blessings. I explained that I definitely understood how he felt but encouraged him to really seek Jesus with all his heart. While I was explaining this to him, he was fiddling with his cigarettes that he and his wife next to him had. It struck me that cigarettes are a great parallel to the bondages that we as people won't let go of, as they provide evasiveness from our mess, like pornography does when we are feeling depressed and lonely.
Before we ended our conversation, he told me to reach out to his son through Facebook and tell him about Jesus. I couldn't find his son, but his concern at the moment was genuine in that he was much happier for his son than about his own working relationship with God.
The point here is this: either we live vicariously through someone else's actions because we failed somewhere in our life, or we can live victorious in Christ because he vicariously gave us freedom, victory, and a new beginning. Many times the father lives through his son because the father made terrible choices in his own life, therefore thinking falsely that that amounts to spiritual points. Yet God wants each individual to live VICTORIOUSLY, not on someone else's behalf.
This might not mean much to you right now, but think deeply about whether your personal walk with God depends on your family, friends, and colleagues opinions and amounts cations or whether your past failure in your own life is fixed by you being a better father, husband or friend. Though these things are important in the right context, none of them mean much when faced with the face of Jesus himself...
We have two choices. Either live victoriously now and throw off our disappointments in life by casting our cares upon God and experience tremendous exhilaration walking with God, or wait till the day you die , ignoring the life you could of had with victory by your side all the of the time. So, with that said. ..
...Are you living vicariously or victoriously?