Last month Eric and I were driving around in search of the next great yard sale. On a back road I saw a beautiful wheat field lit by the early morning sun. I felt compelled to stop and take a picture but it seemed silly and I told myself that there wasn’t a good place to pull over. We drove on and immediately I regretted not speaking up and getting that photo.
Soon we pulled onto the highway and to my right was another beautiful, sunlit field of wheat. We were following a yard sale sign turning to the left and this time I spoke up and said, “I have to take a picture of the wheat. We have to come back this way.”
When we returned we found what we thought was the best way to access the field and made our way down the road.
The wheat was golden and beautiful, swaying in the breeze. I had driven and jogged by it several times but never noticed it until this day.
I took several pictures with my camera even though I’m not a great photographer. As we drove away, I reviewed the photos I had taken. The wheat field was stunning but I had somehow managed to capture the power lines and the apartments in the distance. Not so stunning. The other photos were a little blurry, overexposed, or underexposed. I was a little disappointed after all the trouble.
Then He spoke.
“Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies”. I felt the thud of my heart beat as I recalled the rest of the verse—“it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit”. John 12:24
That’s it. All that trouble was about the Truth that God had been speaking to my heart for months through Scripture, books, sermons, songs, and trials. He so wanted me to get it—to see it—with my eyes and my heart. It wasn’t about photos or even a wheat field. It was about me being pursued by the Lover of My Soul. I want to bear much fruit (and He knows that) but there has been too much of me trying hard to live the Christian life and do Christian work. The Lord Jesus cannot live in me fully and reveal Himself through me until the proud, try-hard self within me is broken.
Oh the trouble He went to on the Cross to give me life—a very abundant, overflowing life. But to experience the revival in my heart that is filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit, I must die to self.
“People imagine that dying to self makes one miserable. But it is just the opposite. It is the refusal to die to self that makes one miserable.” The Calvary Road, Roy Hession
This is the beginning of the Death of Me. Again.
“But dying to self is not a thing we do once for all. There may be an initial dying when God first shows these things, but ever after it will be a constant dying, for only so can the Lord Jesus be revealed constantly through us. All day long the choice will be before us in a thousand ways.” Hession
I bow myself to God’s will, admit that I’ve been wrong, give up my own way, surrender my rights and discard my glory that the Lord Jesus might have all and be all.
Today’s post is an introduction to a series, The Death of Me. Each day this week I will share what God is teaching me about living a crucified life.