Nobody likes the idea of losing. We don't like the idea of having something taken from us or dropped by the wayside, especially when it is something we cherish. However, when we come into God's vision for our lives, there are times when we are going to have to lose some things. Find out what those are and how they'll actually help us gain below.
Lose means what it says
Last time we saw that the phrase to get meant more than what we assumed it meant on first look. The phrase to lose means exactly what it says. This season is about losing things and resigning ourselves to the fact that we will lose things in our pursuits, whether they be of God or the world. If we choose to be followers of Christ, we will have to let some things fall by the wayside in our lives or we risk letting our passion and purpose in Christ do the same. So what are some areas where we might lose something when we pursue Christ?
This is an easy one to get out of the way first, but it is also one that has a heavy reality check. When we choose to follow Jesus completely, we may be asked to abandon certain pursuits that serve our self-interests. This can include things like hobbies and fun activities, but they can also go as deep as our professions. Think that's too heavy a price to pay? Christ offered each of his disciples the opportunity to follow him. When they said yes, they abandoned their professions and never returned to them. For the disciples, they couldn't fulfill what Christ wanted to do in them if they were tied down to a profession. Now, this may not mean that any of us will have to become homeless beggars when God calls us to our calling, but we must be open to give up any and every pursuit that we have so we can follow Christ. The disciples were taken care of by God and those around them. When God calls you to give up your own pursuits, he'll take care of your needs.
When we choose to go further in God, all of those who we spend time with and our bonded to might not understand or agree. Some will reject us. Others will discourage us or try to get us to compromise. However, when God has confirmed his calling on our lives, we cannot deny Him, even for the sake of a loved one. We have to stay true to what God has for us, and eventually that might cause rifts in even our closest relationships. It's not for us to shut these people completely out of our lives, but we can't allow their negative approach to our calling influence in our lives. Jesus' brothers James and Jude ridiculed him in his early ministry. They wanted nothing to do with Jesus. However, we know that these two men would go on to be highly involved in the early church and even wrote two books of the New Testament. Jesus didn't let these two influence his ministry, but he clearly didn't give up on them. When someone chooses to set themselves against your calling, you have to be prepared to lose them, but you never forget them or stop loving them. Pray for them that God would turn their hearts and let them see what you are doing is for Him and that it is good.
This is one that may seem contrary to the Kingdom, but it is one that a lot of Christians get bogged down. We join a ministry believing it is the will of God, and often times it is. However, it is not the permanent will of God. There are ministries that work as stepping stones to greater callings. Your Sunday School class you teach may pave the way to becoming a pastor one day. The hospital ministry you conduct may turn into the calling of an evangelist. Don't believe? It happened to Phillip. He was called to take care of the widows and less fortunate in the church of Jerusalem. At some point his calling expanded and he was able to go spread the gospel as far as Samaria and Ethiopia. Phillip could have stayed comfortable in his calling as a hospitality minister. There is nothing wrong with that ministry and it is a great place to work from for God's Kingdom. However, when God called him to something different, Phillip didn't hesitate-not because he didn't like his ministry-but because it was what God wanted Him to do.
And that is what this season is about. It's about recognizing that it's about what God wants and not what we want. If we'll get that thought in the forefront of our mind, we won't be held back by our self-interests and pursuits, are relationships or our other involvements in the Kingdom. If we pursue God with our whole hearts, we'll find ourselves more fulfilled and with more to gain than if we refuse Him.
What do you think? Are there other areas of our lives where we can lose something so we can pursue God further? What pursuits do you have right now that might be holding you back? Is there a relationship that may hinder you from pursuing God's Will? Our you tied to a ministry when you feel the burden to move to something else? Tell us in the comments and share with your friends.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.