Philippians 3:7-8 - But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ...
I was mowing the lawn yesterday when the words "sold out?" hit me like pieces of mulch being kicked up by the mower! Good thing I had my sunglasses on or they might have got me in the eyes.
What does it mean to be sold out for Jesus? Read the scriptures above again. I'll be the first to admit that in my own mind I think I'm sold out. But I probably am not fully there. Oh, I may be able to write like I am, but what about verbally? I can preach to the choir, but what about when I'm in a crowd where the name of Jesus does not enter into conversation? Am I able to interject something that at least hints at what's on my mind? Do my unbelieving friends really know who I am? Do they know what consumes my thoughts...but doesn't exit out of my mouth? For shame. I'm thankful, however, the God is never finished with us.
Again, I bring up Peter (oh, the array of thoughts that have been so interconnected lately that I've not been able to put together...until now). Here's a man who on one hand is sold out for his Jesus, yet he later denies him, three times before the rooster crows. After he denied his Savior that third time, scripture says, And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." So Peter went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:61-62) This makes me weep! I'm imagining the look Jesus gave Peter was not one of disappointment or anger, but one of unconditional love...one that would bring a person to tears. I'm so thankful that Jesus never gives up on us, like He did not give up on Peter. Peter is a great example of one sold out, yet flawed for a time.
Jesus lived His life knowing He would be sold out (literally with 30 pieces of silver); how can we not be sold out for Him?
I've been told people know I'm different and perhaps that's why I don't fit too well in many social situations. For me, unfortunately, I find there are times I have little in common with others and find it difficult to enter into conversations. Sometimes it seems as if the others are talking another language altogether. They might feel the same way if I brought Jesus up.
I guess there comes a time when I have to let go. Glenn Beck talks about pivotal points in a person's life. Could it be I am heading in that direction? Will the things I've been doing eventually be replaced with things God would have me do? How will this affect my life and my home life? That scares the daylights out of me, to be honest with you. Is that what it means to be sold out for Jesus? Perhaps not. Or maybe God is just getting me prepared first in my heart to get to that place of letting go. There are things in my life I have, I enjoy, I enjoy doing and having. If these things were taken away or I chose to let them go, how would I feel? This is all part of how I'm thinking God is preparing me.
Maybe the preparation is because something will force these things to be "recalled" from my life. Could be health or finances that might bring this about (which could easily be as a result of a faulty government). It might just plain be a call from God in my life to move on. Any one of these situations will be hard...and yet not. I believe if the Lord asked me point blank to quit something, I could do it. The first reaction is to become unsettled. But then you come to the realization that anything the Lord takes away He fills with something so much more extraordinary.
I keep recalling a dream I had twenty years ago or so. I had the dream twice. It took me to a small clearing in the woods with a stream running by. It was quiet and peaceful. There was a very small cabin. The second dream allowed me to see inside the cabin, where it was one room with a bath. The thing I noticed the most about the cabin was the wall that was one huge bookcase, floor to ceiling, full of books. I seemed very content to be in that little place with very few conveniences...or should I say distractions.
Sold out. Letting go of all the things this world has to offer and rejoicing and relishing in the things of God only. Practicing the presence of God (Brother Lawrence's claim to fame). This is all He requires of us...that we be in right, close, personal relationship with Him. Forget the world. A relationship with Jesus should be the first and foremost thing. All other things will fall into place very nicely.
I'm not saying He wants us to remove ourselves from the world. His Word tells us we are to be in the world but not of it. I guess part of me is a little weak in that area because I want to fit in...and yet I often don't. Is that my fault or is it the Lord's doing? A good question to mull over and ask Him.
I keep thinking there is a day coming when "the other shoe will drop" somehow in my life. It will either be God's shoe--or sandal--or something in the world that will cause all the turmoil that I'm experiencing in my spirit to be explained...and then gone through. The answer to my inner upheaval will be clear as day. I can only hope that I will rejoice at this.
Sold out. That's about keeping our focus on Jesus. We have many, many examples in the Bible of people who were sold out. In Hebrews 11, known as the faith chapter, there is a list of the most noted people in the Bible whose faith in God was beyond compare. I want so badly to be counted among those of this day whose faith and focus on Jesus has be completely sold out. I want to be able to say with confidence that the things of this world are nothing in comparison to my knowledge of Jesus Christ. So, perhaps that's the other shoe that's ready to drop. Perhaps I will realize without a shadow of a doubt that nothing in this world means anything apart from Jesus Christ and His gift to me of salvation.
Hebrews 12:1-2 - Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.