The Lord is leading me to see something that I never saw before, and by His grace alone, I pray it might bless you as well as it is blessing me! It involves the difference between an outward surrender and an inward surrender, and how the Lord is pleased with an inward surrender, and not necessarily just an outward one!
Most likely, we have all heard about surrendering to the Lord all that we have and are, and trusting in Him with everything He has given us in this life. Our health, our job, finances, family, husband, children, home, and all the things we have here in this life. We hear that we need to surrender all these things to the Lord, and trust Him in all of these things. We hear that we need to treat all the things we have as if we are just “borrowing” them, like stewards for God in having them. We learn they are not actually “our” possessions, and so we need to hold them loosely in our hands because the Lord gives, and the Lord surely takes away.
That is all good and fine, and there is definitely a place for this type of surrender! But is this ALL the Lord meant when He said that we need to take up our Cross and deny ourselves and follow Him?
I’ve often heard the two related to each other, that what it means to give up our “life” is to “surrender” all the things mentioned above to the Lord, and follow Him.
It’s funny how the Lord lets us learn something but doesn’t actually give us understanding of it until much later, after He has brought us through the necessary experiences in life to where the thing we learned about is actually understood.
That is the case with this situation. If you take the verse that says that those who love their life shall lose it, and those who hate their life for His sake will find it, and you read what the Greek word for “life” means, it actually is talking about our SOUL life. Our NATURAL life.
Jesus was talking about that part of us which is our natural life, which is made up of our mind, emotion, and will, apart from the Spirit of God.
Hence why He tells us to “take up our CROSS daily” —- because as we know from Romans 6, Paul tells us that when Christ DIED, we DIED with Him (He represented us in His Cross). So the Lord was essentially telling them about this fact before it happened in their actual spiritual experience.
And the point is that, when the Lord talked about us “losing our life” —- what He meant was not most importantly us surrendering all the OUTWARD things that we have in this life, but rather, He meant that we are to surrender our INWARD man (spirit) to Him, which is in turn denying our (NATURAL) “life” that He is talking about in that verse.
We have to lose and HATE our (soul) life, for His sake, in order to find life.
Life is only in the SPIRIT (Romans 8)!
What the Lord was teaching and saying is that we can’t live or find our true LIFE in Him if we don’t die to our (soul) life, and deny our (soul) life (that part in us that is our own mind, emotions and will)!
What the Lord is pleased with, and what the Lord requires is not just an outward surrender of material things and the things seen in this life, but rather, He requires an inward surrender of the heart to His Spirit, that we may follow Him wherever He goes!
How does this work out?
We no longer base our decisions in life off of:
- what we want to do (our own will)
- what we like (our own desires/lusts)
- what we don’t like (our own desires)
- what we don’t want to do (our own will)
- how much it costs (our own reasoning)
- how much it demands of our time (our own reasoning)
- how much it inconveniences us (our own reasoning)
- how much trouble it will bring upon us (our own reasoning/desires)
See, when SELF is ruling in our hearts, we do everything we do based off of how it effects us, and we choose our own path and course according to our own mind and emotions and will (which makes up the SOUL).
This is precisely what the Lord has come to deliver us from, that we may walk not after our SELF (flesh), but after the SPIRIT!
Because only those who are LED BY THE SPIRIT ARE SONS OF GOD, the Bible says in Romans 8.
The Lord is wanting us to have this inward surrender, which leads to true LIFE IN CHRIST, by following not after our own human mind, emotion, and will, but following after the SPIRIT OF GOD!
Lose Your LIFE
The reason there is always such a contradiction in the lives of those who claim Christ is because we don’t know or understand with the Divine illumination of the Holy Spirit that when Christ delivered us and we put our trust in Him, what we were agreeing to was that we are now DEAD in terms of our (soul) life, and have been given NEW LIFE that didn’t come from human sperm, but from the LIVING WORD OF GOD which is eternal (see 1 Peter). We were accepting His death as ours, and His Resurrection Life as ours —- so that now, we are not to live to please ourselves, the world around us, or sin — but we are to live for GOD and unto RIGHTEOUSNESS because we LOVE GOD above all else!
But no one understands this and all have been deceived into having a relationship with an outward system that this world calls “christianity” —- and people just go to church on sundays and read the Bible but they don’t have the SPIRIT OF GOD in them so it is ALL IN VAIN! And then they wonder why they don’t have peace, joy, rest, or any growth in victory over sin and the world.
There is a serious lack in understanding this fact that if we are claiming Christ, then we are saying that we are no longer a part of THIS WORLD, and we no longer live to please our self with its own will and desires!
If you have read this — then you have officially been given light on the subject, and there is no excuse! If you don’t understand it, go to the Lord about it, and ask Him to reveal it to your heart, that you may be set free from the things that weigh us down in this life and world.
Freedom comes when we LOSE OUR LIFE for His sake, and accept His will!
The Lord does not bless or come in to anyone’s life or situation that does not have the Lord and His interests as their NUMBER ONE DESIRES AND OBJECT IN LIFE.
If we don’t have a surrendered heart to the Lord, then we can be sure we do not have Him and never will! It is the only way to true life in Him! And He is the only one worthy of our entire heart and devotion!