Sacrifice Required to Reap the Harvest

new_year_new_meContinued from here.

As if that one epiphany on sacrifice was not enough, Floyd McClung’s article entitled Apostolic Passion from Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader (Perspectives) had even more to teach me. McClung made another astute observation:

Too many people want the fruit of Paul’s ministry without paying the price that Paul paid. He died. He died to everything. He died daily. He was crucified with Christ. This strong-willing, opinionated man knew that he must die to self. He knew that in his flesh, he couldn’t generate the revelation of Jesus; he couldn’t sustain the heart of Christ. So he died. He abandoned his life. He abandoned himself.”

Reading this convicted me and profoundly changed my outlook. I deeply desire to do God’s will and accomplish all he has planned for me to do. However, I didn’t want to sacrifice to do it … at least not during my most vulnerable time of the year when I had been ailing for a month, and nobody seemed to notice or care how much I was sacrificing. Notice all of the “I’s” and “my’s” in that last sentence. I realized that I was not dying to self as long as I was focused on myself, and that was the reason for my lack of joy. So, I boldly prayed the prayer that McClung encouraged me to pray, which he promised God would answer quickly:

Lord, be ruthless with me in revealing my selfish ambition and my lack of willingness to die to myself.”

One of my struggles with God is that His timetable typically runs much slower than mine. However, McClung with right. Within an hour, I was restored to the joy that had eluded me for a month. Death to self is the key to joy in God!

To be continued…

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace saying, “New Year – New Me!” Courtesy Bitmoji.]