The title of this post is a paraphrase of a question I asked a friend a few minutes ago - ”Will you die so that you can live?”
I don’t post this to toot my own horn or say “Look at what I’ve done!” … I post it to say, “Look what God has done in me… and what He wants to do in you!”
Jesus said, ”For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25)
The past eight months of my life have been an exploration of the limits of this verse… and I’m sure I am not done yet (nor will I ever be)…
I’ve lost my life… my identity…my name… my theology… my dreams and desires… my home… my reputation… my independence…my money…my marriage… my kids… my friendships… my ministry… (and notice, the “my” that precedes each of those items… as if I owned them!) I’m learning to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, not seek first anything that could be preceded by the word “my”.
No, I didn’t physically die. No one stole my identity. I haven’t gone to court to change my name. We still own our home and Ken and I are still married and we’re fiscally solvent. Although we’re taking a short break, we’re still actively involved in ministry.
And yet for Christ’s sake I have lost every one of them. He asked me to lay them down. If I’d desired to save them as they were, I would have lost them – and lost everything in the process. I had to die to self and allow Him to blow each of those things up – I’ve used the phrase “shattered” a lot recently because that’s what it feels like. I’ve had to allow Him to re-form all of those things… so that my life and identity and name and theology are in Him, so that I truly know the answer to the “two questions” (who is He, who am I)… so that all that I possess is in Him… so that all of my relationships are in Him… so that all that I do is in Him… In order to live each of these things had to die.
Radical reformation is impossible if we try to save our lives or the things in them.