Will You Die For Me?

The young caterpillar set his eyes on the most appealing leaf of the branch.

Determined to move toward it, he examined his many feet, wondering which one he should move first. Unable to decide, he became a victim of self-paralysis, only able to watch the leaf mockingly wave with the wind before him.

The problem in the caterpillar’s mind became a problem of his practice.

In due time, the young caterpillar’s hunger became so great that without thinking, he made his way to the leaf and it became his noon-day meal.

When he gave no consideration to anything but the prize, he was filled.

Before Jesus came to dwell in this earthen vessel, I sought with much vigor those things that are pleasing to the world. Once He purchased me though, I am in need of understanding that there is still the opportunity to employ worldly tactics in the pursuit of religious things. Haven’t I often put forth like labor to attain the virtues of the Christian life? Can’t I of my own power do the works that make me look like a Christian; embracing good morals and such? Can’t I do this, even if minimally, for a period?

I suggest it is not only possible, but is the easier of two paths and the one I’m often prone to take. It is the path that leaves me spending my time choosing which foot to put forward first. It is the one where I try really hard to be a good Christian, but find at the end of the day, I’ve spent much more time dissecting a theological principle than loving my neighbor.

Watchman NeeI believe this is what Watchman Nee defended, holding that true faith is not demonstrated primarily by our trying; but through our dying.

It will be contrary to what has been a favorite crisp of mine, but Nee refused to see it as profitable to be more like the Christ. Instead, he wanted Jesus to be Himself living within him.

He saw this as rightly understanding all of those things Paul said like, “For me to live is Christ, it is Christ who lives in me,” and “I die daily.”

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About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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4 Responses to Will You Die For Me?

  1. Jesus spelled it out clearly when He said that to be His follower we must ‘take up our cross’.
    Everyone who heard Him knew what that meant. Anyone carrying a cross was as good as dead, and would soon be dead, for there was no escape. To be His follower, I must consider myself to be dead indeed to self and to self will . . .
    And praise God that in dying to self, we know the abundance of life in Christ!

    (How foolish we are when we allow ourselkves to be distracted – but how gracious He is to draw us back)

  2. Pingback: Can You Stand the Trials of the Cross? | Resting in His Grace

  3. RJ Dawson says:

    Thanks Mike. I remember when I was a spiritual rookie it seemed as though Paul’s life was so bad and so hard that the poor man suffered every day. I later realized that spiritual suffering must take place, of course, but that Paul did a lot more living than dying. Otherwise he never would have lasted into his mid-to-late sixties and never would have been such a powerful force for God and by God. Imagine his many times of joy!

    In the last verse you quoted, Paul is speaking of being in daily peril of death. In the prior verse he says he is in danger every hour. (See Romans 8:36.) The man had a contract out on him, as did many other believers. Such was life in the first century when being a real believer meant one was often wanted by Rome, castigated by non-believers, and in the case of Messianic Jews, hunted down and hated by their own brethren. Of course, Paul was once one of the latter.

    There is no dying without living. We must acknowledge both. There is an ongoing dichotomy of life and death taking place in the life of every real believer:

    …Always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. [Corinthians 4:10-11]

    The point of dying is living.

    “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:10]

    • mtsweat says:

      Yes, good points RJ. The author I’m reading behind here is Watchman Nee. He lived during the difficult days when Communist China was rising against the relatively new faith of Christianity in their nation. The days will become darker for him, and prison will bring harsh and cruel treatment, but because he was strengthened by God to grasp Paul’s words, he will make an even more amazing impact on the world through his time behind bars than when a free man. Blessings and thanks good friend.

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