Very thought provoking post! I am in the midst of the dying years and it is painful.
You have to go out to go in
What about when you have to go out more than once? Is it normal to go out, come in, and forget some stuff and have to go back out again…and come in again?
And I know that we’re not supposed to be fence-riders, but is it okay to find a happy medium between the out and the in? Like when you have these ideals, but you also have to reconcile it with real life and paying bills and taking care of your family. How do we stay in the “out” mentality and still be fully present in the “in?”
The paradox of God – you want to live – die! You want to be and have kingdom life – then give up your own kingdom(shallow as it is). A kingdom now made with human hands, but hands of our Savior Jesus Christ, living through us to touch creation.
I love this kingdom life, it is not an idea of utopia,rather it is Jesus himself manifesting in his chosen beloved bride – making herself ready! Say yes Lord, we are ready to be a part of your glory as it covers the seas!
I think it was Dietrich Bonhoeffer who said when Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die. And as Calvin Miller wrote in The Singer, “ever does the self die hard. It screams and begs in pity not to go.”
But who wants to die? Be honest! Who does? I think that’s why Jesus added that crucial word to His call. “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24) The crucial word is daily.
Jen, I think there is a normal coming in and going out. Life goes in seasons, days go in pieces. Doesn’t take long to lose the plot there for even just part of a day. At least it doesn’t if you’re me! The crucial word is daily. I made one promise to God and that was that I will always keep coming back no matter what. That one I can keep. All my others lie broken around my feet. Reckoning yourself dead often means it takes time to die, one day at a time. I hate it too! But if I die, I will live.
Ironic post! I was thinking about short-term missions this morning regarding some of the damage they do to some cultures because the focus is more on those engaging in the missions outreach. I’m always trying to balance that out.
Then on the way to the computer lab I’m in right now I was thinking about how I need a haircut. I thought, I remember when I tried to give myself a haircut but started before I made sure I had all the correct guards I needed etc. Sure enough I ended up with a ridiculous haircut and a lot of humorous turmoil in my high school.
I immediately thought of Jesus’ parables of discipleship. “If you are building a building… measure what you will need” “If you are going to war… measure what you will need” “If you are going to give yourself a haircut measure what you will need”
Regarding one of the purposes of short term missions as “going out so we can come in” reminds me of a group called the Psalters. The thesis of their group is a parable of leprosy. The disease does not necessitate infection or gangrene. The disease causes nerves not to function properly and no pain is felt. If a cut or anything occurs, it will fester and become infected causing the need for amputation.
This is the disease of American Christianity. There is pain all over the world, even Christ’s body and we are numb to it. Only by FEELING THE PAIN can we wake up to the true needs around us.
Just some thoughts.
I think “going out” can become part of your daily walk. I think going out may be just stepping out of your comfort. Going on an STM teaches you how to do that and the vital importance of doing that.
incredible insight…the kind that resonated with me deeply as i read it yet inspires even deeper thought & reflection. a true “life message” from title to message to teaching to the revelation it unearths.
your last three incredibly anointed messages weave a beautiful story of the redemption of our brokenness and loss thru our One And Only.
I’m feeling your message. Look at this alternate scenario. When we choose to build a lifelong relationship with a young lady, what do we have to do? We have to take her out. Yep… over and over again, we take her out. Why? Because we want to know more about her. How does she think? How does she react? What makes her tick? What motivates her? What inspires her? I think in this sense, which is an alternate sense, God takes us out so that He can build a relationship with us, get to know us and then wham He seeks a lifelong commitment from us.
That’s the alternate scenario, but the real message is in the words that you wrote Seth…We are called to die to self and live for Christ… Sometimes it really hurts to get taken out…ouch!
Seth, I appreciate this blog so much. I would be very interested in hearing your story, and how you knew it was time to go “out”. My heart is being tugged in that direction, too, but I have so many questions. I know God is faithful and I know He will guide me if I answer His calling. But that’s the hard part, isn’t it? Not just the hearing of His voicethough we make that needlessly difficultbut then the doing of what He tells us to. In any case, thanks for sharing and giving me hope.
“I spent five year dying before I began to learn how to live”
resonates so deeply with me…on multiple levels.
just a thought…in order for a tree to grow, a previous seed had to die.