“For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.”(Colossians 3:3 NLT)
If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I have found a passion for gardening. This time last year, our ‘garden’ was a wasteland, it’s now awash with bright colour. I planted most of our flowers and vegetables from seed, and it’s been a joy to watch the process, from seed to tiny seedling, to fully grown flowers.
From Death to Life!
There’s nothing beautiful about seeds and bulbs. Most look dried, hard and dull. It’s only when they are planted into the soil and watered that seeds become what they were destined by God to be. But…in order for that transformation to take place, the seed has to die.
It’s in death that a miraculous transformation takes place. After being watered, the dry, hard shell cracks and comes away. The seed surrenders its seed identity and becomes something new and wonderful; a complete exchange of identity. Roots develop and the seedling becomes established. A tiny seedling pushes up through the ground, growing stronger and taller, until before long, it develops beautiful flowers or fruit.
Unlocking our full, God-ordained potential requires dying to self.(Mustard Seed Blog)
“Let me make this clear: A single grain of wheat will never be more than a single grain of wheat unless it drops into the ground and dies. Because then it sprouts and produces a great harvest of wheat—all because one grain died. “The person who loves his life and pampers himself will miss true life! But the one who detaches his life from this world and abandons himself to me, will find true life and enjoy it forever!”(John 12:24-25 TPT) * please see footnote with regard to This ‘translation’.
Our lives hold the same God-intended potential as that seed. We can remain in seed state, holding tightly to our ideas, plans, attitudes or opinions, containing these inside the hard ‘shell’ of our hearts, or we can drink deeply form the living water Jesus offers, allowing our hearts to become tender in the loving hands of God, the Master Gardener.
Dying to self is a daily practice. It’s the surrender of those things we want, or we think are right and good, and clothing ourselves with what our Father says is good, and right; loving others as we love ourselves, seeing others as more important. Daily, we are faced with the choice to follow our own human desires, or follow Jesus.
“Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?”(Luke 9:23-25 NLT)
It is God, and God alone who can produce in us that growth and resultant fruit. The offering of ourselves in TOTAL surrender to Him will only ever be multiplied and grown ~ with God it is a spiritual impossibility to be diminished.
“Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it? It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.”(Mark 4:30-32 NLT)
Will you choose life today, by laying down your life in complete surrender to God? It isn’t about striving ~ for then we would become prideful in our own achievements. It’s making the choice to surrender, even though we fail time and time again, and then God can do His transforming work in us.
**(I feel it is very important to add here that although I have quoted this verse from The Passion, which seems to be widely accepted as a ‘translation’ of the Bible, I myself do not view it as a translation, or paraphrase, but an interpretation. I would not recommend The Passion as your main ‘Bible.’ There are many solid, reliable translations. I personally use the ESV for my own Bible reading and study.)