So He went to the cross to set me free. And I am eternally grateful for that. I am grateful he accepted and took into Himself darkness and death itself. I am grateful He became the "Death Eater" and so I now have access to eternal Life in the Light. But somewhere along the line, especially in the West, we've stopped there. We've been lulled into thinking that it is all about our own personal salvation, about us. And yet, as I look at the man Jesus, and as I read in His WORD that I am to be like Him, inherit what He inherits, be perfect like God is perfect, I see a man who laid down his life. He laid down his life. He laid down His ministry. His family. His future. And I think it's easy to forget that He was a man and He loved His life, just like I love my life. I love being alive. And there is a deep drive within me to remain alive!
As I come to know this man, Jesus, more and as I realize more deeply that He truly is YHWH, the Everlasing, the One and true God, El Elyon - the Most High, the Creator, I find that me, myself and I are only in the way. Don't get me wrong, He created me and loves me and desires me and I am fully and unbelievably loved, deeply fulfilled and have found endless safety in Him, but when, in the West, did the question of purpose ("what is my purpose for existing?") start being answered with "personal ministry"? When did we start believing that this is all about us: my ministry, my safety, my prosperity, my healing, my protection...
I see so many in the church both embrace this and struggle deeply with it. We love the idea of it all being about us, but the fruit for so many is disillusion and depression when we don't see it happen according to our imaginations. If we are truly called to be like our Bridegroom, then we, the Bride, must get over ourselves. Jesus says that we are to lose our lives for His sake (Mt.10:39). This is not just our sinful life! This is not just about not getting drunk or high, watching porn, sleeping around or stealing and murdering. He did not say, "He who lets go of his flesh...", He said, "He who loses his life...". When did you last hear a sermon on that, on dying? Every time I chose someone else over my own comfort or my own desires, I lay down my life. Don Francisco puts the gravity of it well:
I'm not saying ministry is a bad thing or that great churches or wonderful programs have no place in the Body of Christ, what I'm realizing is that they are not the goal to be desired. If we want to discover our purpose we need to come to our Gethsemane and there at His feet, lay down our self, our dreams, our desires, our very lives.
And this is only possible if we have a perspective, truly embraced deep down inside of us, that these 80 or so years here are just an internship, they are not our job, our calling or our destiny. The closer I get to 40 the faster these years seem to go, and realizing that leaving here is starting my real calling, at His side, ruling and reigning in the Millennium and beyond, makes stepping aside and preferring others a little easier. Let's get out of this rabbit hole, this wonderland, the enemy has led us into, and press into the Truth. And as we do, I think we will find that the protection, prosperity, healing and ministry will follow, but then will be an extension of Him and in return will glorify Him and not our own little trinities.