“He’s Dead Jim”
Alright, I will just put it right out there…. Jesus wants us dead! If we truly want to follow Him we will need to die. What the hell am I talking about? I am talking about denying ourselves to the point that we no longer live and it is HE who then lives in us. Jesus said it this way, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)
Denying ourselves is an extremely difficult thing to do. Because Jesus is not talking about denying ourselves mere things that we need or desire like food, water, clothing and entertainment. That is part of it, but HE wants us to deny ourselves at our very core of being. Like Paul where he wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
You see Jesus died for us, so we must also die for Him. This is not an easy concept to grasp or live up to. Jesus Himself even struggled with obeying The Father where it came to His own death. Jesus said, ” My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” and ” My Father if it is possible, may this cup (death) be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” He even pleaded with The Father a second time and prayed, ” My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” (Matthew 26: 38-42)
Many say they want to follow Jesus in their lives, but they balk where it comes to following Him even unto death. They have no problem with the cross of Jesus and His sacrifice, but when it all comes down to their very own cross to bear and the sacrifice of their very own self and self-will they fall way short.
I know what it is like to struggle with self sacrifice. Many times I have asked God to take my cup. (and whatever in this life it represents at the time) But that’s the easy part. Where it gets tough is when you have to actually drink from the cup when Father choses not to remove it and a part of you has to die. To be brutally honest I have failed that test multiple times, but in those instances I still find that His awesome grace is still there to cover me and somehow in His strength I am able to move forward. However, as I continue to grow and mature in the Faith, I find that surrendering to my cup becomes a little easier each time.
Totally free and open, Spirit led, face to face fellowship helps a lot with this process. Being in an open and free atmosphere where everyone can share their struggles and victories with one another really builds up one’s faith and confidence before The Father and with one another. Sitting in rows and staring at the back of someones head while the guy up front gives a monologue seldom gives such opportunities for being real and sincere. We grow up into Him, who is the Head, when each one is able to do their work and share their portion. Preachers and sermons rarely allow for that. I am so glad to be free from the Sunday morning show. Face to face, gut level fellowship, that is what works for me, and a ton of other friends that I know very well. Check it out sometime?
Kirk Out !
“They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Revelation 12: 11
P.s. The Searching Together 2016 gathering was awesome and wonderful. I am still processing my time there and will post a report very soon.