Apostle Natasha preached an incredible message on Jesus Christ, the Cornerstone recently. For me, the message was absolutely LIFE-CHANGING! If you have not heard it, check out the intro I wrote about it in our last Ariel Gate newsletter (http://www.arielgate.co.za/Newsletters/Current_Newsletter.html) OK – you really need to read it if you have not heard this message.
The bottom line is that we have to learn to lay our lives down so that God can use our lives to build His House. He cannot build with someone who is standing up. If you are standing up, you are not bowing the knee, you are not submitting to God’s authority in your life. You are in rebellion to God on some level. God cannot and will not build with those who are not submitted to Him. When I heard her preach this, I was so convicted. I mean, yes, I have laid my life down – most of it anyhow. But I realised that God cannot build with me if I am only 90% laid down.
So the challenge becomes, how do I lay my life down? Does it just mean that I do nothing and wait for God to speak from heaven in a loud rumbling voice before I DO anything? I don’t think so… Or do we just keep on doing what we have always done and just believe that God will stop me when I am going wrong? Well, that’s partly true, but I think I got a revelation on this while in the gym the other day (yes you read correctly, I was in the gym!). It was early in the morning and I was talking to God about all the things I had to do that day and suddenly I heard the soft still voice saying – why don’t you ask me what My plans are for you for the day? What a good idea! So I asked God, “What so you want me to do today?” and…. I heard nothing! So I just carried on planning my day in my head and asking God to help me make a decision about this and that when that soft voice started again…”try submitting your schedule to Me.” OK God – you are trying to teach me something here.
So I thought about all that I had planned and I brought each thing before God and basically said, God I submit this to you. PLease order my steps today. And you know what – NO, He didn’t tell me to take the day off work, He suggested that I skip my TV program that night and spend time with my daughter going over her maths homework. He impressed on me what the most important thing was that I accomplish at work that day. I felt Him direct me to call a friend to encourage her. All small things, but important to God. As I went through that day (yes and did all the things He told me to do), I realised that laying down your life is not about the grand gesture. It is about being obedient in the small things. It is not some ‘super-spiritual’ experience, but rather a very practical choosing to serve others before yourself.
As I have continued to try and lay my life down each morning – God has continued to guide me. Give it a try and do not be surprised when God directs you in simple, practical stuff … Get up an hour earlier and get some exercise at the gym, take your grandmother some flowers, read a specific scripture. God is intereted in growing our WHOLE being – body, soul and spirit. Most times we are so busy being spiritual that we miss out the other stuff. But this is still the easy stuff – it gets tougher when the Holy Spirit convicts you about your gossiping about a person or your judgements against others. I sometimes think to myself – well it is not a real big deal, I love the person and I am just making a comment. I am allowed to have my own opinion after all – but God does not see it that way. He just sees how your sin is creating a place for demons to feed on and grow stronger.He sees that our careless words are destroying someone He loves very much. Ouch! Sometimes God has to slap us for us to get the message! Then we can repent and STOP DOING IT!
I am coming to see that this is what it means to lay down your life. It is about dying to the stuff that you want and sense of entitlement that we have. I am still on the journey….and would appreciate any comments or insights from you guys!