When I woke up this morning, I had a strange thought. I felt like I understood on some level whats its like for someone preparing to die. Some may see it as a morbid feeling, but I felt at peace. Today marks exactly one month before I board a plane and travel thousands of miles to South Africa.
I believe I am preparing to die. God is preparing my heart, mind, body, and soul to die…spiritually. When Jesus spoke of His death to the disciples , He said, “…unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels – a plentiful harvest of new lives.” (John 12:24) I must be like the kernel of wheat and be planted in the soil in order to die. God is calling me to die to myself. I must put to death bad habits, old ways of thinking, people who have become a distraction, and anything or one that is not fit to go with me into this new life. This old life that I am currently living must be no more. God is cutting away all of the dead weight that I have been carrying around for far too long.
I feel like a caterpillar preparing to enter into its cocoon. The caterpillar works hard to build its cocoon. The room where it will make a miraculous transformation. I believe the caterpillar knows that it will enter into the cocoon one way but exit the cocoon completely transformed into something much better than itself. That is how I feel. I am preparing to enter into my cocoon, my transformation chamber, the soil that will cause me to die. I die to Sarah’s agenda and life plan in order to fulfill the true, high calling of God.
I believe God calls us all to die…daily. We must die to all of the things that hold us back from following Christ. Jesus clearly says in His word that, “”If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” (Matthew 8:34-35) Does this mean we must nail ourselves to a cross and give up our life for Christ? Not exactly. But when faced with a choice between following Christ or doing our own thing what would you choose? We are called to let go of people, situations, and things that pull us away from God. We all have those things that force us to question our choice to follow God. Those things and people that always seem to seduce us and are oh so appealing, but can only offer us temporary satisfaction and ultimately leave us feeling empty and used. Yes I know it seems like God is asking a lot from us. Asking us to sacrifice much, and it almost makes us want to question “Is this all even worth it in the end?”
Well I believe it is. God is not asking us to give up all of the things we hold so dearly to us in order to be cruel or unfair. He wants us to die to it all in order to give us access to abundant living. He wants us all to live a life of abundance and to experience true joy that lasts. But we must first be willing to die.
One great thing about the caterpillar’s suicide mission and even the kernel of wheat is they both understand that once they have died they will be given a brand new life. They won’t even look the same as they did before their death. This new life and new identity will bring them into a brand new purpose. That is my destiny. In order to live in my purpose I must give it all up and die. But I am reminded that I serve a God with resurrecting power. Not even death was more powerful than Jesus. So as I prepare to spiritually die, I suggest all that are close to me and know me…take a good look because I guarantee I won’t be the same ‘Sarah’ that I am now. Right before I live I have to die…