Have you ever thought of your life as something you could lose? We know that our life can be taken from us by murder. We know that we could take our life by suicide, but have you ever thought of your life as something that could be lost? Jesus speaks about our life as something that has already been lost and needs to be saved.
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it (NIV)
I did not always recognize that my life needed to be saved. But I do remember some nightmarish moments in my life where it was clear that my life was spinning out of control. My spirit was dying and I was actively killing the spirit of others around me. I was not living but dying. I don’t mean physically dying, but my joy, my hope, my laughter, and certainly my inner-peace was dying. My own deceit and anger were destroying my family and wiping out dreams. My body was breathing, but I was dying, barely hanging on. I needed to be saved.
The idea of life and death in the Bible is primarily a spiritual concept.
Life is my capacity to hold on to the things of God which bring life. Honesty, integrity, character, love, forgiveness, humility, and generosity produce life. The Holy Spirit suddenly gives me a capacity for the things of God that bring life to my own soul not to mention those whose lives are most influenced by my own. But the sinful nature born in me has great capacity to hold those things that exclude the attributes of God. Hate, unforgiveness, selfishness, lust, greed, impure motives, and other such things kill the spirit. Like an assassin squeezing the air out of their victim so these things squeeze out the breath of God within us. We need to be saved.
Jesus then says that if we want to rescue our life, we must lose it. Again, this is strange because we don’t tend to think of losing something as an act of the will. I have never purposely lost my keys. To lose something is usually an unwanted thing, but here Jesus says the key to rescuing our life is purposely losing it. The thing about losing something is that it is no longer in my possession. I can’t hold it nor touch it. It is out of my control. If we are going to rescue our life, we can, but we do so by releasing control of our life.
To rescue my life, I must lose my life ‘for’ Him
But to simply release control of our life is not enough. There are many ways that we lose control of our life. We release control through drugs, alcohol, relationships, money, career, obsessions. To lose control is to allow some other influence to dictate my thoughts and thus my behavior. Rescuing my life requires me to lose my life for Christ. For Christ is again a unique phrase. Jesus doesn’t say that we are to lose our life to Christ means the Lord has total control over our lives. That sounds right. Even as a preacher, this is a phrase I have probably used many times. But Jesus doesn’t say it like that. He says we are to lose our life for Him meaning giving up control in a way that is for Him. Giving up control of my life in a way to serve Him and His interests are the key to rescuing my own life.
I bring this up because most Christians run to Christ for healing. We are down, depressed, angry, sad and we need emotional healing. And He is our healer. But when God heals our emotional wounds, this will not save our lives. This is the disconnect that is keeping people from truly experiencing all that God has for them. They have lost their life perhaps. They have released control of their life but they have lost their life for the purpose of personal healing. This does not rescue our life.
To lose our life ‘for Him,’ we must live to draw others ‘to Him.’
Healing is necessary and the Lord wants to heal us, but to rescue our life, we must be controlled not by a desire to feel better through emotional healing. The rescue happens when we release control of our life to the servanthood of God’s mission to rescue others. Whoa! The church’s failure to move beyond personal rescue to a life dedicated to the spiritual rescue of others is why we are not living the best life God has planned for us. To lose our life ‘for Him,’ we must live to draw others ‘to Him.’
If you have been seeking the Lord for personal healing and personal blessing, please know that He is a good Father who wants to give good things to you, but life does not come through healing. It comes through serving. Serve the purpose and mission of Christ that all men might be saved and you will find a life you never thought possible.
I always pray for any who might read any of my posts hoping the Lord to do amazing things in them and through them. If you are coming from a broken past, please download my free ebook that teaching Biblical principles for emotional healing to prepare you to lose your life ‘for Him’
Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!