Monday, June 15, 2009

Are you dying?

In John 1: 35-39 we read the narrative of Jesus’ first encounter with two of John the Baptist’s disciples who later became His disciples. In the discourse that ensued between them the first invitation that Jesus issues (really the first words of significance that he speaks to them) are the words, “Come and see.” In John 16: 1-4, as Jesus speaks what is essentially His final charge to His disciples, He essentially calls them to "come and die." He informs them of a time that is coming when people will kill His followers believing that they are doing a service to God (Saul of Tarsus was one of such people before his conversion and name change to Paul). Jesus' cryptic warning, “I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you."

Over the last three years these verses have spoken loudly to me in more ways than I care to recount. In many ways I have died slowly (so that He can live through me). Just as the Scriptures predicted, some of the voices of judgment and condemnation have even spoken in the name of Jesus (believing they were speaking for God) as they have spoken death over my calling and purpose. How have I kept my heart clean through all this? Simply by buying into the idea that as Christ-followers we must learn to embrace the principles that take us from the elementary stages of “come and see” to the missional and visional place of “come and die.” After all, the Bible does say that unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.

Whatever the process you must walk through to get from “come and see” to “come and die,” embrace that process fully, knowing that it is the only way that you can fully walk in the totality of God’s calling and purpose for your life. Remember that Jesus’ first call to those who desire an intimate relationship with Him is to “come and see” and experience the fullness of life in Him. In other words He first calls us to a relationship. Then He calls us to embrace the mission and adventure, which requires a dying to our own carnal desires and a willingness to live for Him. So the real question today is: Are you dying so that you can really live?


Ash said...

i wonder if we were to "ambush" our lives and die to what we are, that we may be what we are Created to be much beauty would we open ourselves to....(revolutionize ourselves)

i find this idea on my heart this year as i pursue the life He designed for me and as i listen to the stories of others ....and i cannot begin to tell you, that even when it seems challenging, there's something amazing (Him, I suppose) that i just can't get away from, that i just don't want to get away from. it's cool.

Joseph said...

Very well said Ash, very well said.

Zonoma said...

Thank you, Joseph, for this encouragement.