I have been feeling the need to write for several months now, but have just not made the time to do so. This need is so strong, I feel guilty with every passing day that I procrastinate. I keep telling the lord, “as soon as I am finished with school I will set some time aside to write.” So, here I am. I finished my semester and have 8 weeks of so now it is time to get busy writing.
I’d like to share a thought with you. The thought is about dying. Dying to self, surrendering to Christ. I know that the Bible teaches us to take up our cross and die daily, but that is not what I am talking about. Let me explain.
A few years ago, after several failed attempts throughout my life, I finally 100% surrendered to God. I died my own grievous and painful death to self. The reason I mentioned several failed attempts is because I couldn’t ever get past one thing. My hang-up, the thing that tripped me up time and time again, was men. More specifically, it was loneliness and the need to be loved. This need was so strong and ran so deep through my soul, that as much as I loved God and wanted to live for him, I always compromised, thinking that I needed to be something different for the “right guy” to love me. All the other guys I had picked over the years never did.
After the last breakup, something changed in me. I decided I was going to live God’s way, regardless of what that meant. I was single, I had my own business and no one would have probably guessed how lonely and heartbroken I really was.
Greif is something that cannot be explained. It can only be lived. Grief is something that one feels when someone they love has died. It is gut wrenching. Grief is something that takes a very long time to heal and the sorrow you feel lasts for months and months, in my case it lasted three years. There were days I had to find a place where I could be alone and cry several times, just to make it through the day.
Have you ever saw the movie “Passion of the Christ?” If not, I highly recommend it. If you did see it, remember the scenes where they were beating Jesus? Remember watching as he carried his cross up to Golgotha’s hill, often falling under the weight of it? Remember as he hung on the cross, blood dripping from his head where the crown of thrones was placed? That is what dying looks like. It is painful. It is bloody and it is ugly. Dying is always met with fear and always, without fail, met with uncertainty. After all, no one has ever died and come back to tell those of us left living what to expect. Dying is the final act before crossing over to the other side.
But…dying is not the end of the story. A resurrected life is the end of the story. We all know that Jesus rose from the dead and because of this, we have a new life in him. But that is not what I am talking about either. Most of us have heard the story of the cross but none of us can totally relate to it because it is the story of Jesus and the story is so much larger that life. We know that he died so that our sins could be forgiven but do we really understand what that means? I know I never did, and I grew up in church. But today the story of the cross holds another meaning for me. It holds a story that directly affects me today. In the life I live with my family, with my job, with my money and with my future. The meaning it holds is the fact that once I died to Christ, once I completely surrendered; I have been living on a whole new level I didn’t know existed.
Jesus only went to the cross once. You know why? Because when he went, he gave it all. He completely died to himself and to the world on that day at Calvary. We never hear about Jesus having to die more that once. One death was all it took and God resurrected him.
I believe the same is true for us. When you really die to yourself and fully surrender to God, I believe he resurrects you as a new creature in him. I know that sounds cliché but think about it. How many times have you struggled with the same thing? How many times have you tried to change something about yourself, only to find yourself repeating old behaviors? I believe the reason is because you have not died yet. You have not given all yet.
Words cannot possible do justice to the changes God has made in my life. I have the all the things I ever wanted. You see, resurrection is about blessing, its about new life. It’s about walking in promise. It’s about walking in the power and prosperity of God. It’s not just about a spiritual life its about having blessings here on earth in this life. When you can die to God, truly gut wrenching grief, sorrow and desperation to do anything God wants you to do, then he lifts you up in resurrection and you begin to live in the blessings he has ordained for you. The reason is because you know the source of your blessing and you understand that HE is all that matters. Living for God is the best life I have ever know. I have had a lot of things in my life and been a lot of places and met a lot of people that others would love to me. And still, living for God is the best life I have ever known. But I couldn’t have known it without first dying.
Have you died yet? You cannot be resurrected until you have died.