I'm dying...little by little...not just physically (aren't we all because we are aging?), but also in many and various ways. Everyday I die in some way, emotionally, volitionally, relationally, physically, occupationally or... My dreams may die. My goals may crash to the ground and take me with them. Right now, I'm going through a bit of that with the death of a vision.
Are you dying too, dear friend?
If you are living on this sin cursed earth, you too are dying every day.
But there's company...and there's hope. Let's talk about it...
We are in good company. The apostle Paul died every day. Listen to his words from Holy Writ:
I die daily...
...always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus...
...we are afflicted in every way,...perplexed,...persecuted,...struck down,...always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus...For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake...So death works in us..." ...that I may know...the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death... (1 Cor 15:14; 2 cor 4:10, 7-11: Phil 3:10 NASB)
And Jesus Himself said,
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone... (John 12:24 NASB)
What is dying? Death means separation. Physical death is separation of the body from the spirit.
But there are other separations, aren't there? In the sense we are talking about, there is separation from our our dreams, our desires, our self-life...our self-will, our self-determination, our self-effort, our self-absorption...You get the idea!
Our self-determined dreams and visions and projects need to die. And even the God-given ones must be placed on the altar. Why? So that the Living God can resurrect HIS Life from the deadness of our flesh-tainted existence apart from Him!
And that's our hope. And a great hope it is!
Here's the rest of the story:
...that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Phil 3:10-11 NASB)
...always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. (2 Cor 4:10 NASB)
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the lifeof Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you. (2 Cor 4:7-11 NASB)
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. (John 12:24-25 NASB)
Knowing Christ! Touching HIM! That is Life indeed!
Join me, O dying friend, in this prayer of relinquishment:
Dear Lord, we gladly (though painfully) die, even to our current projects and dreams...that we may know You, Whom to know is life eternal...this day and every day! We freely turn from our self-determination and self-absorption and joyfully give...
Glory to You Steve Green
What do I possess That You did not give to me? What mysteries are clear to me That You did not explain? When did I share truth I had not received from You? What good works have I performed That You did not ordain?
Chorus Any strength I have Any good I do Comes from the life I found in You So in all I am And in all I do I give the glory to You
How do I express My love and may gratitude? For all I am and ever will be All depends on You Where in the world would I be Had You not reached out to me? All the good I have in life Can all be traced to You
From the strength to obey Your Word when I hear it To reaching out in love It’s all a gift of the Holy Spirit, Coming from above
I give the glory to You