"Losing and Killing, Gaining and Living"
In God's spiritual economy, we lose in order to gain. Or even more graphically, we kill in order to live.
"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:25-26).
"If ye though the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, ye shall live" (Romans 8:13).
The loss of life and soul to which are Lord refers can sometimes involve actual physical martyrdom. However, the norm of this sacrifice involves everyday choices of faith and submission to God whereby we replace natural responses to circumstances, events, and situations with spiritual determinations to view life in accordance with our Lord and His Word. Through the Holy Spirit's working in our hearts and minds, we put to death fleshly impulses, thoughts, and inclinations that conflict with Truth as defined by God. The choices often involve initial discomfort as we act in opposition to human impulses. Rather than retain a perspective, attitude, or belief that feels comfortable to our flesh, we rather remember and affirm the "Thus saith the Lord" of Scripture. This often feels like loss, and it is. Nevertheless we gain as we lose, or as our Heavenly Father enables us to kill in order to live.
Suppose, for example, our spiritual enemies tempt us with fear. While different people respond differently to such a challenge, we all have natural reactions that initially do not coincide with God and His truth. We may bluster with pride - "Hah! I can handle that!" - or cower with fear - "Oh no, I can't handle that!" Either way, our fleshly responses demand that we gain in order to lose, or kill in order to live. Temptations to fear call us to faith - "What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee" (Psalm 56:3). This demands that we remove our sword - "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" - from its sheath, as it were, to execute the loss and death that leads to gain and life (Ephesians 6:17). We internally embrace the truth of God's Word in order to conquer natural impulses, thought patterns, and responses. "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (I John 5:4). Thereby we lose, but we gain, and we kill in order to live.
"I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord."
"Overcome evil with good."
Weekly Memory Verse
Call unto Me and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not."