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Spiritual DNA: What are you living for?

Several weeks ago I wrote a blog asking “What would you die for?” Another way of putting the question is, “What are you living for?”   What do you actually believe so strongly that it’s at your core? Or as Gary Witherall put it, “Is what you’re living for worth dying for?”   Ga…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Several weeks ago I wrote a blog asking “What would you die for?” Another way of putting the question is, “What are you living for?”
What do you actually believe so strongly that it’s at your core? Or as Gary Witherall put it, “Is what you’re living for worth dying for?”
Gary Witherall is a man who had to answer the question.  His wife, Bonnie, was martyred in Lebanon in 2002, an experience he writes about in the book, Total Abandon.
So, how would you answer the question? What do you really stand for? If they cut you, what would bleed?
Here’s my answer. I’m convinced that Jesus is God’s answer to man’s problem and that his mission on earth was to set men free, free to know him and free from the claustrophobia of a self-focused life.
I believe that most Christians think that salvation is 90% of the Christian experience and need help in moving beyond the ante-room of saying a “prayer of salvation” to the abundant life beyond. Some people call this helping hand discipleship. Discipling a person really comes down to giving a new believer your life to imitate.
Most Christians are aware of the difference between the law-based Old Testament and the grace-based New Testament, but they live lives that are more characterized by judgment than grace. When you really start to live in a committed community that radiates this grace, you get the Aha! experience that says, “Wow, this is why Jesus called his gospel ‘good news!'”
And I’ve seen people then realize that it’s a gospel that has vast power to transform a world that languishes in darkness, a world so enmeshed in pain that anything that arouses hope seems like a drink of cold water. I’ve seen many commit themselves as I’ve committed myself, to a life of bringing this hope to broken-hearted people.

I’m committed to just a few things that are key to the expansive life of the spirit that Jesus inaugurated. It’s the spiritual DNA that I bleed. How about you? When you’re cut, what do you bleed?
Here’s what it looks like in Haiti when we put the DNA into action.

Comments (8)

  • We will only die for a few things, if that many. Those are our convictions. The rest are just opinions. Personally, I’m not willing to die or divide over most of what I believe or hold to be truth. We change our minds constantly. We won’t know what we’ll die for until we’re confronted with real scenarios. Talk is cheap, easy and often romantically shallow.

  • I think I read somewhere once that you needed to lose your life to gain true life…

    I imagine that for most of us, it means that we give of our hearts, souls, minds, and strengths – but obviously historically, it has meant for some – giving it all.

    I have a feeling, it is in the act of giving our lives away for Christ that we find what it means to live.

  • It still blows my mind, the spiritual revival happening down there. Admist such great physical need it really is the spiritual help and encouragement they so desperately are asking for.

    I’d second the video in saying if anyone has an inkling God might be saying “go”. Then pack your bags and go see. It will change you and revive you. It will remind and reinforce the power of the Holy Spirit God wants to unleash through you.

  • @ Mike Paschall … “Talk is cheap, easy and often romantically shallow.”

    I concur and totally agree with this thought. What I am most grateful for now is that in so many ways and on so many levels, God is reconstructing me. After nearly 30 years of Christianity I’m finally cooperating with God and allowing Him to “work it in then work it out.” The sad truth is that for many years in minstry, “cheap talk” has emmanated from my heart and passed from my lips. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Is it possible I have talked cheap and weak Christianity because I have lived cheap and weak Christianity? You really nailed it, Seth…Following Christ is so much more than “getting saved.” It is so much more than going to church and doing churchy things. “What am I living for that I’m willing to die for?” What a powerful litmus test for everyone who follows Christ. May we all continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    Peace and Blessings…


  • My life as a follower of Jesus has been too often characterized by a failure to understand the fact that it is what He does through me that matters. We are called to be human “beings” not human “doings”. So worship, prayer,study, reflection and service are necessary ingredients to a life that counts. If you cut me and I bled my prayer is that the life force would be tainted with love, grace and mercy for a hurting world. Appreciate you Seth.

  • This post hits the inner core deep because it is talking about what is at the core of your thought what is your hinding emotions that come forth your true underlinig character. Will we be like Jesus when struck by an emotional, mental or physical blow. Will the strength of God show forth and you bleed a never ending love to those that attack… Will you heart stay in the light and ask for forgiveness and mercy to be shown to someone that makes you bleed. I have never been hit to the core so hard that I have been challenge with this very experience but I hope, the sword, the living word of God would come forth with a love and compassion that is beyond the understanding of direction the bleed came from to make them fall to their knees and seek the answer for themselves. This is what you speak of no matter the circumstance no matter what comes against us we thank the Lord and move forward in his grace and mercy and continue to spread the word not just through speech but what is within the core the DNA of the light that has authoirty over the drak in Jesus name.

  • @Teri Frana, I really like what you say here. And it brings to mind our Jesus’ very words (and experience) where He uses an illustration of a kernel of wheat.

    John 12:23-25
    Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

    The outer shell seems to represent a life loved for itself (or oneself), which cannot reproduce the life of Jesus in others. But His life within me and you can, and does! We willingly lay aside our life for His.

  • Thanks for the recommendation on the book…..Lebanon caught my eye and it was perfect timing. I ordered it last week, it came in yesterday, and I’m like 1/3 of the way through. Good read.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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