Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Mystery of Giving up Your Life for God

Group1 Crew: "I do this for you."

"I do this for you
I do this for love
I do this for the life we've been dreaming of." Group1 Crew

I love this song and it's words that inspired me to even write this. Often I will listen to it and think of my lovely wife and our relationship that I cherish.

From the day we got married I remember looking out away over the horizon at the clouds and the sea while the pastor was talking and having a dream of what we could do together. I think this is a beautiful thing and something to take seriously for the two of you and accomplish. Yet on the flip side it can get the best of you too, flame your selfish ambition and destroy what God wants to do in your life. So how do we keep a balance? And what does God have to say about it all that will guide us when we are about to go the wrong way?

God says: "Whoever wants to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."

"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23

So how do those verses have anything to do with "the life we've been dreaming of." It sounds rather that God wants us to give up living for our dreams. Well, if that is so then explain this verse:

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires [and secret petitions] of your heart." Psalm 37:4

So in finding joy in God and making him #1 in our lives, we find that God delights in us too and gives to us the secret desires of our heart.

So how does all this work? Well I think it's all a matter of focus: when you're focus is on loving God and others ahead of yourself then you find that you DO have to sacrifice to do that but at the same time you feel what Gods kingdom is all about: GIVING!

You feel joy in giving and God gives back to us what little we give up because GOD IS THE GREATEST GIVER OF ALL!  He truly loves to give BECAUSE HE TRULY LOVES US! Not only is this the case but also others feel our love and give back to us too. AND THAT IS WHAT THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS ALL ABOUT!

So in focusing on loving others, does this mean that we ignore our own selves? Well obviously if our focus is others we put others above ourselves but that doesn't mean doing harm to ourselves or abusing the responsibility we have to love ourselves too:

"Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment..."
Ecclesiastes 11:9

So God wants us to enjoy life and do things we want to do - but this doesn't mean being selfish. Here is how God wants us to look at it:

Philippians 2:3 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit ...
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, ... each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. ..."
‎Philippians 2:4 - ‎Philippians 2:3 NASB

So now to check my heart and see if I really live by this: yes, I believe I do.  I do have my faults though. I think this battle to love others is something that you have to get up and fight fresh each day. Attitudes fluctuate and if your not happy about something that can have a big impact on your response. But following the Spirit and submitting your way to Gods loving way can take courage and backbone. But it's the way of the shining path that grows brighter and brighter each day!

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