Dying to Live
"Jesus replied to them, “The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I can guarantee this truth: A single grain of wheat doesn’t produce anything unless it is planted in the ground and dies. If it dies, it will produce a lot of grain. Those who love their lives will destroy them, and those who hate their lives in this world will guard them for everlasting life." John12:23-25
What does that Bible verse mean?!
Well, let’s think about it for a second. What if a seed says “No, no, no. I want to stay the way I am. I am not going into the ground.” Maybe it likes itself the way it is just fine. Maybe it thinks…this is as good as it could get. Maybe it’s just scared of “dying” or fears the changes and uncertain future or what it could become. There could be various reasons a seed may not want to be buried, die, and be made into a new and flourishing plant. But really, if it chooses not to be buried and die, what will happen to it? It will have a very limited life without becoming anything more. Just a seed waiting to reach its full potential.
This decision to die is exactly what Jesus faced, and he tells us this is our choice, too. Jesus chose to be given over to death and be buried in darkness because he knew that on the other side was a new, perfected, and glorified body. He knew he would come out better than the way he was beforehand if he submitted himself to this process of dying to himself and being raised to new life. he would become even more fully who he was meant to be. Thankfully, he trusted his Father God’s plan.
The incredible thing is that he gives each one of us this same opportunity. It may not seem incredible to us when we are faced with this choice. After all, who wants to completely give up control of their own life and destiny? Who wants to die? I wonder how many of us love our life too much to completely submit it to God? How many of us are scared to go through this process of change? How many of us are too afraid of what’s ahead? What would it be like if I choose to go through this process of becoming more fully who God made me to be?
It's understandable, right? Even Jesus had a struggle with this. (Luke 22) He was Amazing before he died, so he could’ve easily been like…no, I’m good! But throughout his life he continuously submitted himself and his will to God, the Father, knowing that the Father’s plan is always best. He was well practiced with the idea of surrendering himself, even in the small things, throughout his life. And those choices, and that final choice to be given over to death, is the very thing that enables Jesus to empower us to walk through the same process. When Jesus rose from the dead and came out on the other side, he was even better and fully equipped to help us walk into our fullest life as well. BUT…
We, too, must choose to follow in this way of surrender that Jesus walked. To give up ourselves, our life, our future, “dying” and submitting our full selves over to God (Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit), knowing that he promises a new and more full life on the other side. Our FULL selves… body, mind, spirit, and soul.
Let’s go back to the seed. If the seed said, “Okay, I’m going to give half of myself to be buried and keep the other half sitting up in the sun over here.” That’s not going to work! A new, healthy and productive plant is not going to grow from that. This is why it must be complete and total surrender of ourselves to God. This is the only way we can come into our fullest life in Jesus!
The good news…we don’t have to be a perfect seed. God can take us as the seed we are - wherever we are in our life. And if we will give over ourselves to him, trust him and be willing to be buried with Jesus in surrender… God will raise us up into new life, a more fruitful life, a fuller life than we could possibly imagine or come into on our own.
When that seed allows itself to be fully buried in the soil, it will one day sprout up and grow into a new and flourishing plant. Which will eventually produce fruit, and that fruit will have more seed… and those seeds will be buried in the earth and will produce fruit, with more seed. And on and on….
Do you see what a life surrendered to God can bring? This is God’s destiny for us. And it’s not only so that we can live our fullest life, but that the fullness of our lives can go even beyond us.
Yes, this is still so mysterious, but we’d love to chat more with you about these things! Please contact us if you want to talk more about how you can walk into your fullest life in Jesus.