Philippians 1:21 – For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
I lost everything. I lost family, I lost my children, I lost a marriage, I lost my home, I lost my possessions, I lost another marriage, I lost HOPE, and I lost my soul. I DIED to everything I knew. My worldly life ceased to exist and I was haunted by the mistakes of my past. I died to myself and was stripped of everything in the flesh. I will never forget the church service where I positioned myself on the altar and allowed God to strip me naked. As I lie there, my face on the floor, my hands lifted in worship, my groanings drowning out the music, I became naked before my God and completely unashamed. It was part of the painful process of letting go. When that happened, I then was able to gain my life in Christ. For me, it took losing everything, including almost losing my life, to gain a life I never really knew existed. A BEAUTIFUL life. A life full of love and compassion. I life filled with hope, excitement, and JOY!! I was set up for the set up. Every single painful afflication and loss was for HIS glory, honor and praise. It’s an incredible feeling to sit down with no more spiritual flesh to speak of.
Mark 8:34-38 – Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.
My life was USELESS, and still is, without Jesus. I choose to follow him instead of diving back into self-satisfaction. He wants me to have the desires of my heart and He will give them to me IF they line up with His will for my life. I had to let go of every single thing that I was holding onto, my whole world, to take up my heavy cross and follow Him. I had to nothing to exchange for my own soul. I was lost to the world and I let everything else take precedence over my life with Christ. And I lost it all, only to regain Him!! I am powerless to do anything of lasting value without God. I want to GO where He sends me! I want to daily die to myself and my own selfish desires and just GO!!! So much has been lost, but so much more has been gained just by doing this simple thing everyday. By asking Jesus to remove all of me and replace it with all of Him!