Okay this might get a little personal but here we go...
So I mentioned in my last post that I would talk more on the lesson I taught last Sunday night at youth group. We are currently in a study based off of the book "2 Die 4" by Ryan Dobson. It's basically about what it truly means to die for Christ. The majority of the book is about how you have to "die to self" to truly find life. But my chapter was on the total sacrifice - actual physical death for the sake of Christ. Going all the way.
It was a heavy couple of weeks studying this. I can't believe the things that are happening ALL OVER the world...things that many western Christians are completely unaware of. The number of Christians dying for Jesus’ sake is now more than at any time in history. According to one estimate, there's a total of 600 million persecuted Christians in the world today – one-tenth of the entire world’s population!
There's so much that I could say on this topic, but bottom line for me right now is this: I want to know Christ the way these people know Him. I want to love Christ for who HE IS...not because of what He gives me or because I can find purpose and meaning in life through Him. I want to love Him for HIM. Because when you have a gun to your head or a knife to your throat, that's what it will all boil down to. If you love Him because of what He gives you, you will choose to stay alive. But if you love Him for HIM, you will not deny His name. You will realize there is something that you love even more than your own life.
Sometimes I find myself worrying about God's provision. But I think it's because I have a warped vision of what I really "need". I have a messed-up view of what is truly necessary. He has been showing me over the past few weeks the truth that there is truly NOTHING that I need outside of Him. I have heard this and even claimed this all my life...but I think, for some reason, I am really starting to believe it. I love when David says "Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you"...(Psalm 73:25). I want to know Him like David knew Him.
God is truly beginning to make Him the desire of my heart. I so desire to love Him for HIM...not because of what He gives. There's that song that says "nothing I desire compares to You"....but I don't know...It's not that I want there to be nothing I desire more than Him. I actually don't want to desire anything besides Him. I don't want Him to just be at the top of a list of desires. I want Him to be the only One on there.
And I don't know what that's going to mean...but I don't think there's any way that I'm going to get there until He starts taking some things from me. It's going to be hard to truly believe that He's all I need until He's all I have. So who knows...I very likely have a painful road ahead of me. But HE is the greatest gain... and I want to be able to say with Paul that you can take whatever you want to take from me - even my LIFE - but as long as I have Jesus, I have more than enough!
I have fallen in love with this song by Christy Nockels called "None But Jesus"...I'm thinking about making it the theme song for my life :)