I was thinking about how so many people are so wrapped up in their lives and they think that all of life itself is all about them and their desires. I was reminded that life is not about us. When we lose our life – when we finally give it over and surrender to the One who loves us – how rich, full and vibrant our lives truly become. Yes, we really find life when we lose our life.
Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
There is no comparison between the life that is all about oneself and the life fully yielded to God and His ways! Jesus told us He came to give us life and life to the full.
John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
When I think back about my life before I became a Christian, I am amazed at how many things occupied my time, spent my resources and demanded my affection and attention. My life was not my own. I was a slave to addictions, affections and to other people who took advantage of my time and money. Everything I did was to please someone else, for all the simple and complicated reasons we all do this. I had to prove myself, over and over and over again. No matter what I did or how well I did it, it was never good enough. There was never any peace or rest.
That is, until I came to know and love Jesus! Scripture talks about putting off the old and putting on the new and I saw that happen very plainly in my life and I can see it in the lives of everyone who truly believes. People say living a holy and sanctified life is boring. How wrong they are! Our old man was crucified:
Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
This new life, the one where we walk with God, is so amazing! Every day is filled with wonder and awe as He leads us to people and events we wouldn’t normally encounter. I have done and seen things others have only read about in the book of Acts. So few understand that the book of Acts is still being written by those who have given up their rights and their lives to Jesus! Our new man is created in the likeness of God, and we have to put off the old and put on the new:
Ephesians 4:22-24 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
This is a choice we make. We really and truly begin to resemble our Lord once we fully surrender our lives to Him. When we give up our agendas, our plans and purposes, and our need to be recognized, we can begin to bloom into the person we were created to be. You see, life is not about us – even though all of life was created so we could live and thrive and fulfill our destiny. Life is about people – all the people of God – whom He chose and pruned and sanded and trimmed until they began to look like Him. In proverbs, the attributes of the righteous and wise that are described there belong to us! Simply and mostly because we are focused on the Author of life – Jesus, the Anointed One! There is a verse of scripture I love (actually, there are many, but this is so appropriate for this notion) that goes:
Habakkuk 3:17-18 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
It doesn’t matter what the world throws at us, whether the crop fails, or that there is nothing in the cupboard. It doesn’t matter whether we are part of a large company or stand alone in the valley of death. It doesn’t matter if our families have forsaken us and no one agrees with us. It doesn’t matter what our lives were like before we accepted Jesus’ offer of redemption. We come to Jesus just as we are and He asks us to surrender it all to Him. That’s when we discover that we find our life when we lose our life to Jesus.
As long as we have Jesus, and we are focused on Him, we can sing from the depths of a dungeon or the heights of a lone spire because He is worthy of it and He is our portion. And, He is enough! Worship Him! Rejoice in the Lord always as Paul tells us in Philippians! Joy in the Lord of our salvation! As we do, He will show up and bless us with His presence!
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Thank you Lord for saving my soul! Thank you Lord for making me whole! Thank you Lord for giving to me thy great salvation so rich and free! Hallelujah! We praise you Lord for your awesome and wonderful gifts to men. Please help us stay completely amazed and enthralled by your love for us! Help us Lord to keep you in our focus and for you to be the object of our love and adoration forevermore. You are our portion and we surrender all to you! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.