“Real life requires death. Death involves the experience of suffering. Suffering is required for growth.”
— DAN ALLENDER
Life is an upside-down reality. What appears to give us life sends us to either a rapid or a slow spiritual death. But what is death to the flesh is life to the spirit. The journey from death to life is the relinquishment of those tantalising features of the world that hold us back from the full experience of life.
When we can give up what we cannot keep in order to gain what we cannot lose we win an eternal prize – now and to come. But much faith is required. We must believe that suffering for truth – by sacrifice – is worth it. But if we don’t believe we don’t get anywhere spiritually. No investment means no return.
This means we need to be prepared to lose in order to win. We need to be prepared to go against the grain of sense so we can ensure there is room for God’s grace to permeate our situations.
When we are able to give away our needs, and live the death of Jesus so others can have life, we are surprised as to what comes back to us in the way of blessing. We have taken on the journey through death to ourselves in order to redeem life – the long way around, but the only true and sustainable way.
If we can endure pain, and grapple with the reality of our situations, God will reward us here in this life. But importantly, that is not our aim or objective.
We want to be done with notions of blessing, so we can be focused only on matters of trusting and obeying God by ordering the realities of truth into our psyches – to such a ‘heart’ level that we can do them. We let matters of blessing come of their own accord, without us influencing them one way or the other.
Death Is a Precursor to Life
There is no life in this existence called life until there is death. We must die to ourselves in order to redeem this life that God has, that replaces the veneer of life we have come to accept as life – a life trapped in the mortal body.
Accepting that there is no life without having procured the matter of death, we can see that everything we want to achieve is dependent on surrender. We need to get back to the start before we can start again.
This applies to the many things we cannot do without the fullest of surrenders.
Change depends on the necessary surrender of those things that have held us back; the things associated with death regarding the new place we want to get to. This is the journey from death to life – that is, from death of the old self to life in the new self. New life is possible only when the old life is dealt with.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.