"Focus on the flame, not the burning stick."
For a long time now I've been very aware of my need to die to myself, take up my cross daily, and follow Jesus. It's the foundation for the Christian life, it's essential for discipleship, and it's the core of the Gospel message that Jesus came and died to bring us.
But lately I've been focused mostly on my side of this equation instead of on the entire process. Mainly, what I've been missing is the perspective of the exchange that takes place.
When I die to myself it's not merely a death of my will or pride, it's the catalyst for a chemical reaction whereby my life is lost so that the life of Christ can fill me up and replace my selfishness with his sacrificial love for others.
What's been missing is the emphasis on the life of Christ being formed in me. This is what the phrase above, which God spoke to my heart last week, means: Focus on the flame (the power of Christ), not the burning stick (your death to self).
What I need most is the life of Christ. I don't receive it by holding on to my life but by letting go of it. "
"Whoever find his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake shall find it." (Matthew 10:39)
What I need most is for Jesus to release those rivers of living water within me so that I can enjoy His kind of life and not this empty version of life without Him.