Oh that I may truly say as Paul did in Philippians 1:21, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." I know why it is that dying is gain. That is the easy part because it has already been done for me. My salvation has been assured and place in Heaven with Him is prepared and joyous will be that day. What I struggle with is to be able to truly say and live in such a way that my living is Christ. I stumble and falter with each step and with each passing day. Some would say that this is not so meaning it to be a word of encouragement but in the silence of the night and in the dawn of each day, my inner man is confronted with the truth.
What does it mean to say "to live is Christ"? Do I live with the singular proclamation in word and deed, the reality of "Christ Jesus and Him crucified" (1 Cor 2:2)? Is my life an imitation of Christ, following His example (1 Cor 11:1)? Do I truly strive to know Him more closely and intimately each day (Phil 3:10-11)? Am I willing to give up everything that hinders me for that knowledge of Him considering all those things as garbage and dung (Phil 3:7-9)? Do I make Him my singular goal, focus, and desire, throwing aside any and all things that hinder and entangle (Heb 12:1-2)? In all truth and honesty I know that I do not and, through bitter experience, also know that I cannot.
Yet praise Him who saves and sustains, He upholds my faltering steps and failing strides and sees me through each day for His grace that saves is also the grace that empowers. It is only by that grace that I plod along knowing that it is I who must take each step, placing my feet where He has trod but confident that as I do so, living is Christ is not leaning on my own understanding or my strength but by His. It is in so doing that "to live is Christ" attains its highest truth and greatest potency. It is in this that I can boast proclaiming always, "yet not I but Christ lives in me" (Gal 2:20)!
[quote]...in the silence of the night and in the dawn of each day, my inner man is confronted with the truth.[/quote]
Indeed this is when we are all confronted with the truth. It is when "the music" stops and "the crowd" is gone and there is "silence". Then we hear that still, small voice which asks the question(s) which we cannot help but answer and we must do so honestly, whether we like the answer or not.