I attended a girl’s conference this weekend entitled “Awaken” and then in Sunday morning service today, my Pastor was teaching on “Identity.” Both of the lessons were about finding out who you are in God and then living it out. These messages got me thinking about the living dead. Don’t worry…this post isn’t about a rock band or zombies…it’s about being a child of the King. 🙂
Lately I’ve had many opportunities to think about ME…how things affect ME, what people say about ME, what people say to ME, what is comfortable to ME, why ME, etc. While these are common thoughts for most of us…Christians included…they shouldn’t be. I’m sure we’ve all heard Revelation 12:11 as a song or a declaration but how many of us commonly think of or hear the last segment of the verse?
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives unto death. (emphasis added)
They did not love their lives unto death. I’ve always thought of that verse as a martyr verse…you know, a verse speaking to those who are willing to give their physical lives before they would ever deny their King. Well, that’s part of it, but there’s more to it than that. When I prefer my comfort, my peace, my desires, my flesh over God’s desires and requests, I’m loving my own physical life at the cost of overcoming in my spiritual life. That’s not to say that my life will never be comfortable or that I will always have to sacrifice, but it does mean that when God tells me to do something or say something or refrain from doing or saying something, it’s for a good reason. When I choose to go my own way instead of His, I’m making a choice of preference for myself. The sad part is that the preference is really only for my physical self in that moment without consideration of my true eternal self. Look at it again…Revelation 12:11 says that this is how we overcome the enemy. So, trusting the Lord’s direction even when it’s uncomfortable (like biting my tongue when I want to defend my actions or being kind to someone who has despitefully used me or exhorting someone who has repeatedly torn me down) is a step toward defeating the enemy’s plan for my life. 🙂
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I Corinthians 15
37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. (NIV)
36 You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; 37 and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. (NASB)
4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
My Father knows me and has great plans for me. He saw me from the beginning and knew who He wanted me to be. More importantly than just who He wanted me to be was who He wanted me to reach (that’s you ;)). It isn’t always easy to ‘love not my life unto death’ but the rewards of new life are worth it…for me and for everyone I’m able to reach for Him.
Wouldn’t you rather be a flourishing plant than a dormant seed?