Losing Is Saving
This morning I woke up very early with my mind racing. It’s amazing how different thoughts and scenarios can race around my head. So, I decided to get into the Word and then get quiet before Him. Sadly, I still have so many control issues. The enemy screams in my ear, “What are you going to do? How are you going to handle this situation?” The Lord reminds me I wasn’t suited to be in control When I find myself holding on and afraid I instinctively increase my desperate, controlled grip. This is where Abba reminds me I can trust Him and am called to release all things into His hand.
Mark 8:34-35 “And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.”
This passage is incredibly profound. The call to authentic discipleship is a call to deny self – to say no to our selfish impulses and our desire to do only as we please. It is a call to reject independent living. The call to authentic discipleship is a call to surrender to His will. This is the place where worship begins.
My observation is that most Christians have no intention of denying self so they have substituted self-denial. This is behind most of the rules and regulations of the religious world. We actually want the rules all nice and neat so we can judge ourselves, and others – are we in good or bad standing? We really want to remain in control! We think being in control can preserve our lives. Jesus tells us its just the opposite. He tells us the only way to preserve life is to let loose of it.
The message of the Gospel isn’t me being in control of my life but me giving up the illusion of control and trusting Him. In trustful abiding I surrender to His indwelling life and release His indwelling life to the world. It seems quite paradoxical to us, losing is saving. As I meditated on this it seemed the Lord was telling me that I would only let loose of all my illusion of being in control when I trusted His love. Then I read this passage:
Jeremiah 31:3 “the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”
The experience of His everlasting love allows me to live above the diagnosis of doctors or the symptoms my body is experiencing. Are you allowing His everlasting love to meet you where you are today? He is faithful and we can trust Him even when we don’t understand our circumstances. Our part is to lose our lives in denying self and then experience abundant life that is His life in us.