Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Final Stage of Trust

Oswald Chambers, after quoting Galatians 6:4—“by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world,” said, “We are to be in the world but not of it; to be disconnected fundamentally, not externally.  We must never allow anything to interfere with the consecration of our spiritual energy. Consecration is our part, sanctification is God’s part; and we have deliberately to determine to be interested in that only in which God is interested.”

The world teaches a false humility which only dresses self in modest attire.  Jesus taught that to gain self ultimately one must lose self temporarily.  To truly obtain eternal life, one must COMPLETELY die to temporal life.  Trust is taught in many businesses today by falling backwards with no concrete assurance that coworkers will catch you before you hit the ground.  Likewise, we must lay our bodies in the ground and hope that God resurrects us whole into paradise.  Trust we must!  Alas, most go to their grave afraid and hopeless, not trusting but thinly hoping.  It behooves us to settle future and exterior consequences now and internally.
 
A true martyr is dead to self, “disconnected fundamentally” and internally from this world and all its charms; if that martyr is executed externally or physically, he experiences a victory and an advancement.  His death actually becomes an unnecessary dramatic flourish; it had already been settled that his life is not his own.  He is dead to self-interest.  The final stage of his trust is now consummated awaiting only the reward God gives to all who maintain faith to the end.

If true Christianity were not supernatural and miraculous, then perhaps martyrdom would suffice as the ultimate test of devotion.  But the final stage of trust reaches beyond the realm of mortal life into the higher and more serious realm of eternal life. When Paul said, “I ... suffer ... things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day” (2 Timothy 1:2), he no doubt TRUSTED God beyond any mortal inconvenience or death.  He even went so far as to wish himself “accursed” for others IF IT WERE POSSIBLE.  So selfless had Paul become in his Christian maturity, that he even began to speak of losing eternal life in order to save others.  Did not our Savior become a curse in order to save us?  Therein is the ultimate sacrifice; Paul went all the way and identified with Jesus Christ in His sufferings to the degree that he laid down his life for others (even his eternal life).  The impact Paul had on Christian history is born of his death for others; his words are Spirit and life because they are words resurrected and therefore eternal. 

Some final thoughts.  Jeanne Guyon (1648-1717), wrote of the deeper life in Christ, even the final steps of maturity; in regards to submission or subjugation of our wills to God’s will she said, “How far are you willing to go in yielding your will to God?  How far is proper?  What are the limits of obedience, the ends of abandonment, the ultimate willingness of the will?  The ‘Song of Songs,’ chapter 5, records a possible insight, for there you find a soul giving up the hope of eternal life!” If there was not a more explicit example in scripture of someone doing exactly that, viz., being willing to lose their eternal life in order to save others, Guyon might not have convinced me.  But there is!  St. Paul speaking: “I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me [enlightened and prompted] by the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.  For [if it were possible] I would wish that I myself were accursed, [separated, banished] from Christ for the sake [of the salvation] of my brothers” (Romans 9:1-3 AMP).

The church is in desperate need of resurrection power, but resurrection power is only made out of the death of mortal power.  Until we trust God fully with our lives, even our eternal lives, we have not fully matured and trusted.  Until we can say like Paul, “I would...that I myself were accursed,” we are holding back from “drinking the cup” our Lord and Savior drank.  Either we go all the way and place our lives, even our eternal destiny, into His hands, or we slink into powerless oblivion.  We pray, read His word (and of course we should!), but where is the resurrection power that turns the world upside down and saves souls?  Until we complete THE FINAL STAGE OF TRUST it is doubtful the world will ever know we exist.