Wednesday, we looked at what it takes to birth something in our lives. We found that, while the product of the birthing process is a wonderful and miraculous thing, the process itself can be very trying. Today, we look at the opposite of birth: death. What, if any struggles do we face when we die? What can be the product of this season? Find out below:
Don't Let Dying Scare You
Despite its inevitability, most people will do their level best to avoid and push off death as long as possible. They take vitamins, work out, eat healthy, and try every technique possible to prolong life a few days, weeks, months and even years. Death is the scary event in life that nobody wants to accept at first, but everyone must face. It's this fear of the inevitable that keeps us from taking risks, trying new things and actually life life to the fullest.
The same is true in the spiritual world. When God calls us to kill off a part of our past so we can move forward in Him, we shy away because of the comfort and perceived safety of the known. This isn't always sin God asks us to abandon form our lives, but just activities and items that can and will hold us back from advancing in God. It could be giving up a hobby so you can spend more time in prayer. It could be giving away some of your secular book collection so you can focus more on God's Word. And yes, sometimes God leads us away from those old habits and sins that crop up, but we fight back because we are use to them and are conflicted about giving them up.
However, Paul said, "to live is Christ, and to die is gain." He gave up being a leader of the Pharisees to follow after Christ. It led to persecution, isolation and even his death, but he embraced the change because he desired to have what was true in life. When we give up something for the Kingdom of God, Christ comes alive in us more. The world and what we have seen as comfortable begins to shrink and a new perspective on life begins to take shape.
Let this survey assist you in determining what might need to die in you:
Embracing Death To Live
As we mentioned above, so many people resist living life to the fullest because they are afraid of death. However, most people who have faced the reality of death or have a near-death experience often say they came away with a greater appreciation for life. They don't becoming reckless, but they are willing to get out of their comfort zones and try things they dreamed of doing but were to unsure of themselves, afraid or timid to attempt. Some even make wholesale changes to their lifestyles to ensure they are living a more meaningful life. The same must be true in our spiritual walk.
When we are faced with a spiritual opportunity to die to the flesh or to our ways of thinking, we should embrace it for the opportunity it provides us. When we get the chance to see that habit die of that hobby go by the wayside; instead of mourning and sulking about it, we can excitedly brace what is opened up to us.
Giving up playing golf so you can start teaching Bible Studies sounds like torture to some, but that's what Larry Clark - one of the subjects of our LOGOS review series - did and he's won countless people to the Lord. He doesn't sulk about what he missed out on the golf course. He celebrates what he gets to do for the Kingdom in bringing others to salvation. This sacrifice has become a part of his testimony when he witnesses. This is not to boast to others, but rather it is intended to show his conviction and passion for the Word and lifestyle that he proclaims. We can do the same if we will hold to the scripture from before:
"To live is Christ, and to die is gain."
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.