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16 June, 2014

None of Self and All of Thee—Will You Lay Down Your Life?

"If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." Luke 9:23-24

Today I was reading Oswald Chambers devotion and once again, for the gazillion times I was reminded by the Spirit that it is a life where you lay down the self daily, then, you learn to lay it down moment by moment.

Oswald is right in his assessment of us when he recorded It is much easier to die than to lay down your life day in and day out with the sense of the high calling of God.”  When we get to do things for God, we do not have to feel the pain of being who we are. We get lost in working for Him because it gives us a sense of control in our lives. More than that, choosing to work for Him instead of laying this life down, helps us make sense of the natural life and takes away the chaos and uncertainty that the supernatural takes us through. I feel the need to say chaos because God does not tell us each step of the way what He is doing. As we wait, we wait some more, then a little bit more, again some more, yet, still nothing. As a human being, it is hard to take and hard to live out. So, all the feelings that the waiting process and the uncertainty bring to our lives cause chaos in the mind.

The past two weeks, I have been in some sort of tiring mood and it bothered me because I knew I had no business feeling the way I was feeling. I have been walking with God long enough to know if this kind of mood is not dealt with right away, you get yourself into a spiritual depression and before you know it, your devotion time, prayer time with God and everything of this spiritual life suffer as the heart grows cold toward Him. So, even before I finished reading Oswald Chamber’s devotion, I was convicted and I knew I had to get back to the same attitude that I know so well, in Him

When you are a child of God, this attitude can be found literally in the blink of an eye as you switch your brain’s gears. Instantly, you find rest. When you switch gears, it feels as if you were carrying a load off your back, but now you no longer have it, as if it suddenly disappeared.

But, the Spirit took it a step further to show me that the load that I felt I was carrying was made up of things such as: self-pity for myself because all my hopes seem to be fading away and my failure is made so big right in my face. I have also been having some issues with impatience through the waiting process,after all, I have been waiting only eight years, no biggiebut you can see the kind of thinking process and disposition that plagued me the past two weeks.  So, the spirit showed me, even though I did not raise a finger to do work outside His will in order to avoid laying down my life, I still can move away and do the next thing that comes easier instead of laying down the life as He asked of us.

So, yes, for the past two weeks or so, I can truly say that I forgot to lay down my life daily. Every time the Spirit teaches me something, I am the first one amazed at how this self-life can creep up on us, so easily without even being noticed. I am also amazed at the 1001 ways we have to occupy ourselves in order to avoid laying down our lives. The worst thing is that I thought I dealt with self-pity in my life and I put it away for good. So when the Spirit showed me that self-pity was one of my heavy load, all I could say was “how did that get there?” Once more I was confronted with my being nothing, unless I am in Him. Without Him, I can’t do anything right

But, I know He is not finished with me, in fact, this journey that I have been on for the past eight years has only showed me this Christian life has just began.
Like T. Monod said, we start with,

All of self—and none of Thee.
move to ‘Some of self—and some of Thee.’
thenLess of self—and more of Thee.’ Until we get to
Grant me now my soul’s desire,
None of self—and all of Thee.’

Will You Lay Down Your Life?

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. . . . I have called you friends . . . —John15:13, 15

Today’s Devotion June 16: for Oswald Chambers