All day long we fuel ourselves–we drink water, we breath, we eat, we rest, we think. All of it is done to sustain life, our lives. What we do with our lives is our choice. Can we say that we can choose either death or life? I believe we can choose one or the other. Look at it this way. Death needs fuel, too. Death is something that is never satisfied. Graves are dug every day. And if death is like life, it also fights to win. Life fights death by procreation, staying healthy, and staying smart. Death fights life by what? Exactly the opposite.
Here’s the twist. Jesus is so valuable that he says we need to deny the fight for life if we want to be with him. When we choose Jesus, we choose faith, and faith is the exact opposite of survival. Faith, in terms of staying alive physically on this earth, is death. Why? Well, in faith we rely on the Lord to provide for us. We no longer do whatever it takes–we no longer go out and get food, water, or rest at any cost. Instead we put God first and our fight to stay alive second.
If anybody says that faith is an easy oyster to crack, they haven’t lived a life of faith for very long. When we choose Jesus, we choose the opposite of survival. Or rather, we put ourselves in tight survival situations where security, comfort and certainty is at a minimum. That’s not easy, but that’s what Jesus expects us to do. That’s why Jesus says that we will be living sacrifices. Everyday we will deny ourselves and rely on Jesus to provide the opportunity for us to find necessity.
God is powerful. He can do what he wants when he wants, and that’s what we need to put our faith in. We need to work. We need to heal. We need to look for opportunity, but we also need to tell the Lord that it is up to him if that opportunity comes through for us. Don’t be surprised when a season comes that all opportunity fails.
As we walk with the Lord, and as he takes us through the desolate land, let’s not look at ourselves like we are withering plants, getting beat down by the hot sun, dried up by the rainless sky, or crippled by the bending wind. Let’s, rather, look at ourselves as strong plants who are getting stronger with every ray of sun that blinds us, stronger with every day that doesn’t quench our thirst, and stronger every time a gust violently tries to knock us over.
Strength can not come without opposing forces.
Let’s put our strength in the Lord’s hands. God will not put more on us than we can handle. He will not crush us and kill us like death will. Jesus is true life. He will put just the right amount of opposing force over us so that we can continue to increase our strength until, finally, faith no longer is like death to us. Until, finally, faith becomes pure in us. Faith is God’s life, God’s way, and God’s strength. So let’s pray and praise and love the Lord with everything we are, fully remembering that he loves us and that our struggles will only last for a season. “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39).