LOVING JESUS WILL BE THE DEATH OF ME
When I first heard the words from today’s title “Loving Jesus Will be the Death of Me” in a song by Kirk Franklin, I thought to myself, “I have to write a blog post on this subject.” We often hear people casually state, “This child will be the death of me” or “This job will be the death of me.” But to truly love Jesus and follow Him, we must die of our self, so the Spirit of God can lead us. The Apostle Paul demonstrates in Galatians 5 how we each have opposing forces at work within us. Our fleshly desires (sinful self) spawn out of pride, greed, envy, and deceit and our Spirit.
John, a disciple of Jesus, said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.” To me, this means putting aside my worries, fears, and doubts to love my fellow Christian. So, what I share with you next comes out of LOVE. It is not from judgement, nor guilt, or shame.
We must never put anything ahead of God. It’s time we stop responding in fits of anger, sexual impurity, selfishness, enviousness, or numbing out to drugs, alcohol, pornography, or television. The flesh conforms to our world, but we are to “renew our mind” and desire God. Nothing in our life should be more attractive, more fulfilling, more pleasing, or more on our mind, than God.
It may be time for some of us to do an “about face” and go the opposite direction. It may be time for some of us to invite God in and say, “Lord, lead me.”
How? You might ask. How do I do this “about face,” let go and let God?
First: Let Go of Pride
Simply put, the flesh is about pride, and the Spirit is about humility. With humility we are teachable. Everything we do, think, say, and invest in turns us toward God.
Two weeks ago, I attended a men’s retreat where Pastor Paul Miller highlighted three ways we could know whether we have moved from pride to humility:
Our affections have changed.
Our attitude towards sin have changed.
We experience God’s loving correction, and we are OK with it.
This week I encourage you to read Philippians 2:3.
If we look to God’s interest, pride will never be present, but joy will be.
Next: Walk by the Spirit
Earlier, in the opening of this post, I shared what the flesh desires. Let’s now look at what it means to respond and walk by the Spirit of God. Whether you are frustrated with a family member, colleague, or even yourself, choose the nine attributes of God Now. When you are cut off in traffic or passed over on a job promotion, choose the nine attributes of God Now. When you respond to a child who has stolen, lied, or turned to drugs or alcohol, choose the nine attributes of God Now. In all things, at all times, allow love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to lead you.
Finally: Keep Moving Forward
Have you seen the clip in Lord of The Rings (Return of a King) where Sam Wise says to Frodo “I can’t carry your burden, but I can carry you?” Frodo becomes weary and seemingly is unable to move on. So, Sam picks him up and carry’s him up to Mount Doom to release the burden he’s been carrying. Here we experience true comradely.
We must never stop moving forward, yet like Frodo, we may too become weary. At these times, we need men who will meet with us, encourage us, hold us accountable, and yes, if required, carry us so we can keep moving forward. We need godly men who will show up, speak truth, and pray with us. We need a man or group of men who know where we are mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Each Tuesday, I lead a Mastermind group where we build relationships fostered on truth. We encourage and hold one other accountable. We are a community of men who live out Hebrews 10:25.
If you want to Pursue Your Potential, you too need to need to let go of any pride, walk by the Spirit, and Keep moving forward. This represents the death of self and your love for Jesus.
LOVE. LISTEN. LEAD.