Total Disability

 And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.   

Luke 9:23

 

 

I heard speaker Ann Voskamp talk recently about living a life either focused on the cross or upon comfort. The question that arose for me, for all of us is, are we living cross shaped or comfort shaped lives?  Which most closely defines us? Do we most want to be in Him, or in circumstance that please and comfort our flesh. Which desire and path really directs our lives?

 

I've a good friend who, along with his wife, is walking through what might be the most challenging time of his long and fruitful life. He said to me recently that he had come to the place of declaring "total disability" in his journey with Christ. By this he meant that he admitted his complete inability to change or make things better, or to deal with the many challenges of their situation in his own strength. He was totally disabled, and therefore, totally dependent on His God. Few of us care to go to this place, but all of us who say we have taken up our cross to follow Christ can not end up anywhere else. We must all become "totally disabled" in ourselves that we may become totally dependent upon Him.

 Many of us say we have taken up our cross and followed Him, but few of us are really willing to be on "total disability" in Him. We always seem to have some part of ourselves that still believes it can "handle" things, figure a way through or out. There remains in us, in some degree, a stubborn self-reliance that we cling to. As long as it remains, we hold our cross very loosely, able to let it drop at any time. And those times can be frequent. 

 

There's a worship chorus that contains the words, "sweetly broken." It refers to a brokenness that yields a sweet fragrance from our lives to Him. Our flesh fears brokenness because it destroys its control over us. Voskamp says, "The degree to which we embrace brokenness is the degree to which we can embrace abundance and intimacy." My friend that I mention above, says that though the pain of this time is immense for he and his wife, the joy and wonder of what they are experiencing in Christ is beyond words. They've entered into an abundance and intimacy in and with Him beyond what they've ever known. It's the place that all true cross carrying will take us. We enter into the fellowship of His sufferings, but into His joy, peace, and wonder as well.

Who among us is really willing to embrace total disability in Christ? Would we have it, or, do we go on living in some measure of self-reliance? If we are to carry our cross, than not just some things of the flesh must die, but all things of the flesh must perish. That's total disability. That's complete brokenness. It's also the pathway to true and full abundance in and intimacy with Him. Do we have that? Will we have that?

Blessings,
Pastor O

 

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