We have one function in life: to be the manifestors of His life to the world. Only when we are living His life are we truly living our own! This is the reason for our creation.
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
~ 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Oh beloved, it is true. Death does not come easy. But the time after we let go, can become the most astoundingly abundant Life we could ever hope for…. My own consciousness of my death in Him occurred on 19 October 2010. Four years ago, i was struggling to hold onto some sort of life, and i only found it when i let go on that day.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
~ Colossians 3:3-4
But, the Spirit Himself did slay me a little while later…. This vision occurred at 7:26pm, on Dec. 12th, 2010. while sitting in the second row of a chapel before a service. Suddenly, i was standing in front of the church! Immediately, a large, shadowy man stepped out from near the podium and plunged a huge knife into my chest. As I fell, I was immediately back in my pew. All of this took maybe 5-10 seconds in the natural. As i looked around, panting, i immediately realized that something was different! And after the service, i approached a chaplain and told him the strangest thing…
i said, “chaplain, i think you just preached at a funeral.” The man simply looked over the top of his glasses at me, cocked his head to the side, paused for a second, and said “amen.” Then just turned and walked away! a short time later, i was chatting with the same man while in a car. He said, “you know… Keswick is like an elephant graveyard. People come here to die. They just don’t know it.”
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
~ Galatians 2:20
And since that night, nothing has ever been the same. A life that was formerly a catastrophe for both myself and for the people around me, came to an end. But, the oddest thing about all of this dying, has been the fruit.
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
~ John 12:24-26
And the fruit is abundant. This fool of a writer will let the King of The Universe count the souls, but suffice it to give Him glory here, as the report is given. Online ministry has reached into over 161 countries. And the Gospel has gone out many tens of thousands of times into countries extremely hard to reach. And in the Asian megacity where i live and preach, over 130 students have come to faith in Christ in the past couple years. Astounding. And four years ago, i was struggling just to get into a place to help me stop drinking.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
~ Romans 12:1-2
And in dropping any plans for my own life, He has shown me a path i never thought possible. He has given me a wife and even more children. He has inundated me in a small ocean of students (350+ secondary students per week), teaching Christian Worldview in a predominantly Muslim country. But mostly, He has given me deep peace and clarity on the simplicity of Life in Him. The entirety of The Gospel is most easily understood through the lens of the enormous heart of Love within Jesus Christ.
Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. The saying is trustworthy, for:
If we have died with Him, we will also live with Him;
if we endure, we will also reign with Him;
if we deny Him, He also will deny us;
if we are faithless, He remains faithful—
for He cannot deny Himself.
~ paul, The Least of The Apostles, in 2 Timothy 2
So beloved, are you still trying to live the Christian life? Stop. Just let Him lay you down. Death does not come easy. But the Life afterwards is an astoundingly wonderful thing. Tonight is your night. Any night is a very good night to die.
And He said to all, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.
~ Luke 9:23-24