30 March 2013

No Death ... No Resurrection

This was a topic that came up as I had coffee with one of my best friends last night. death ... and resurrection
As we talked about the challenges that many are facing, we found ourselves also discussing the occasional difficulty in moving toward the path that God desires for each of us individually and becoming all that He desires - which is for us to be like Christ. Further, we noted the power of God to resurrect us and our hopes /dreams, even when we feel like all is lost, dying or dead.
Now the definition of resurrect from our modern day dictionary has a two-fold, meaning:
1 : to raise from the dead
2 : to bring to view, attention, or use again
Some synonyms include: recharge, regenerate, rejuvenate, rekindle, renew, revive, resuscitate, revitalize and re-awake. Many of these ‘re-‘ words are the very things that are needed by those who have become weary from the journey and tired of experiencing the same things day in and day out. Yet there is a role each one of us plays in the process of experiencing these things in our lives.
As my friend and I talked about why it sometimes seems so challenging to move forward in life, I pointed out the fact that God will often allow us to keep walking through a situation until our character has matured to a point where He deems us prepared for what He has prepared for us. This process can be very arduous and unsettling. The Israelites who wandered in the desert for forty years could certainly relate. But here is where I pointed out to my friend:
He cannot resurrect you, if you will not die –
Although many Christians will spout the phrase that 'death has lost its sting' (speaking of the physical), there are many who still refuse to embrace the process of death (spiritually). They continue to wrestle and strive against what they know is needed in hopes of somehow getting and end-product without submitting to the process. In my post Kingdom Alphabet: 'R' after 'S'  I note how in the kingdom ‘r’ comes after ‘s’ – resurrection follows suffering.
·         You cannot experience a miraculous healing, if you are never sick
·         There is no supernatural provision, if there is never a need
·         Your character will not be transformed, if you never die to self
The issues of life can only be raised to newness if we allow certain things to die. Yet, all too often, we work desperately to be our own solution rather than humbly submitting the matter to God and letting Him have His way in and through us.
One of my biggest challenge areas is my ability to let people into my world – a fact you likely would not surmise from the content of this blog. However, it is an area that I am committed to working on … dying to my preferences of being intensely private and instead embracing God’s desire for me to be a bridge to His Word and Himself by sharing my life. It is what Jesus modeled for us. He emptied Himself out for the benefit of encouraging and uplifting others and nothing less is expected of those who take His name and identify themselves as Christians.
There is process to dying … it must be deliberate
This weekend there will be many sermons about the dying and resurrection that took place in the life of Jesus - something vitally important to both communicate and celebrate. For there is no resurrection or salvation apart from Jesus Christ. He stated of Himself in John 11:25 I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live’.
However, it is also important to remember what our role is in the process – which is to die. In my blog post 'Terms & Conditions' I note:
‘We have been called to a Living Hope but a dying life.’
God has wonderful things that He would like to raise us up into, but it begins with us laying down our ambitions and confessing as Christ did, ‘not My will but Thy will be done.’ Luke 22:42
You may be submitting to God for the first time - recognizing the sin and separation in your life and your need for a Savior. You may be a seasoned Christian who needs to re-submit one or several areas of your life to LORD. Whatever the case, understand this: There is no resurrection unless there first be a death
He cannot resurrect you ... if you will not die.
‘My old self has been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.
So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave Himself for me.'
 Galatians 2:20 NLT

1 comment:

  1. Another good post to review: http://zenobiawise.blogspot.com/2011/06/fellowship-of-suffering.html