The Joys of Being Dead
Most people don’t like being dead. It’s quite the opposite of being alive. Most people have things they feel they need to do while on the earth so they feel they have to be alive to fulfill their needs and their ministries. The joys of being dead is that you have nothing to worry about. Does it matter whether I live or die? Does it matter if the ministry that has been prophesied over me time and time again never comes to pass? Life is never guaranteed. We are told not to worry but to have faith.
I find one of the most awesome things is when I play my bass is that the bass does not complain. Never while I play it does it even hint at offering it’s input or opinion on how he should be played. My bass who I named Achilles (because the name sounds awesome!) never complains or bickers behind my back on how it should be played. Just think of the headache it would cause me if it did?
But we as humans have something so much better than a tool or an instrument. We have brains and free wills and things like that. We can say whether we like something or whether we do not. But, the amazing thing God gave us this ability so we could lay it down. We do have rights, but do we have the faith in God to lay them down? Do we have the faith in God to say that his way is better? We are often required of God to do things that we really don’t want to do but he wants us to know if we are obedient. So, we could choose to die to our pride or huff and puff but eventually do it or not do it at all and go on our merry way. Gritted teeth obedience is still obedience but it’s not the kind of obedience that God requires.
I read “The Normal Christian Life” by Watchman Nee and in it he tells the tale of him and his Christian brothers swimming. It happened to be while they were swimming a brother started drowning. He looked at another brother who was a good swimmer and asked him to go save him. The swimmer said he will. But, he didn’t just dive out there and get him. He waited and watched the brother struggle against the water. Nee was getting anxious knowing that his brother was going to drown unless he got help was getting very frustrated at his brother for waiting. It wasn’t until the brother who was drowning got so exhausted from struggling that he wore himself out and began to sink that the brother who was the swimmer went out to get him and save him. Nee was furious at his brother saying “Shame on you for loving your life over this brother and watching him die for your amusement.” But his brother said to him, “On the contrary, if I had gone out there and tried to rescue him while he was struggling he would have dragged us both down. I could only do both of us good when he stopped struggling.”
How true this is! We can only be rescued when we stop trying to preserve ourselves. We can only truly live until we have consigned ourselves to the same death that Christ died for us on the cross. To say that I have been “crucified with Christ” means that I have been placed on the same cross with Christ 2000 years ago, not another cross. The thieves were crucified by Christ. But, our sin nature was placed on the same cross as Christ. 2000 years ago, our sin natures were pinned to the same cross as Christ sanctifying us before the father. But we can only know the joys of this death until we have surrendered our lives to him and say we are nothing of ourselves and commit ourselves to 100% obedience. We will never know what it is to die until we say that we cannot live our lives the way we want to and expect heaven at the same time.
It’s only until we have died to our will that we can live in God’s will. We will never experience God in all his fullness without obeying him. If we do not communicate to the Holy Spirit within us; How can we expect to know his will? It’s only when we know and reckon ourselves dead to ourselves and acknowledge that we are not our own, that we were bought with a price that we can truly experience the joys of death to ourselves.
Lord, I know your sacrifice and I know how much I mean to you. I commit myself to you from this day forward. Where you go I’ll go. What you say I’ll say. What you pray I’ll pray. I submit myself to the will of the father. Lord, I choose this day to die to my will that I may live your will. I say this day that I am yours. My life is no longer mine to live. Thank You Jesus that I don’t have to do it alone by myself. Thank You Jesus! Amen