Living And Dying In Christ

 "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21....."Lord, don't let anything live in me that should die, and don't let anything die in me that should live." Leonard Ravenhill

 

The apostle Paul and Leonard Ravenhill; two men whose hearts beat along with the heart of God. Two men who, as Oswald Chambers put it, walked in step with the footsteps of God. Such men and women are desperately needed by the Church today. Do we aspire to be such people? Do our hearts beat along with the heartbeat of Christ? Do we walk in "the stride" of the Father? Where in our lives do we cry out as Paul does in Philippians? Where do we ask Him to literally "kill" anything within us that is not Him, and deepen the life of everything in us that is? Piercing questions. Dare we ask them? Dare we answer?

Ravenhill said that he felt the highest form of worship was "being speechless." In that place, we have nothing to say at all. All we can do is lie prostate before Him. Folks, to be in such a place calls for an emptiness of self that few of us care to live in. Most of us have a great deal we feel we need to say to God, and we spend a lot of our time dong just that. What we want, what we don't want. Questions/complaints concerning how He's working, or not working in our lives. We think His greatest desire is to make us happy and prosperous. He says His great desire is to make us holy and pure. T. Austin-Sparks said that His "wonderful plan for our lives is to make us holy." There is only one path to that place; the path to His cross. At the cross and the cross alone do the words of Paul, of Ravenhill, make any sense. Only there can we know that to live really is Christ and Christ alone. Only at the cross can our hearts cry out for Him to replace every aspect of death in our lives and replace it with His life.

 

There's one other thing that Ravenhill said that has really stuck with me. He said that everyone wants to see a burning bush as did Moses. He asks if we are willing to wait 40 years, as Moses did, to see it? Forty years. Of waiting, of living and of dying. Forty years of seeking and crying out until Moses broke through to Him, and He was able to break through to Moses. Moses, the proud Prince of Egypt, was now a humble shepherd on the backside of the desert. And there, at the end of himself, He encountered the fullness of God. So will we. It's there alone that we discover that to live is Christ, and to die is gain. He calls us to that place. Are we willing to go?

Blessings,
Pastor O 

 

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