I love testimonies. Of how our walk began with this beloved Saviour. Mine began back in 1976, in a little back water country then called Rhodesia. It really did blow my 14 year old world apart, because suddenly I was loved. I had 3 weeks of literally walking on air, of breathing heaven and then the rubber hit the road. Here is Jesus outlining the cost of following him. There were huge crowds with him, drawn and attracted by his external works. I wonder if this is rather him highlighting an internal sacrifice which could of course lead to external sacrifice but that it is first an internal thing. His 2 greatest commandments are first and 2nd Love God and Love your neighbour, both internal unseen but then expressed externally in works. The work of God in us is first and foremost an internal work of love. I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I live but not I, but CHRIST, That crucifixion is the death of self, the death of the old way of walking, those things that gave us Love, Acceptance, worth and security, those places we went to to feel better about ourselves. He is our place of home now, when the source was restored and we received that free gift of righteousness, we no longer need to plug into those fleshly things, for our Love, acceptance, worth and security, we are now plugged back into the true source of life. This daily dying to self begins with that internal work of knowing it is no longer I who live, the self life, the old man, the fleshly way of surviving in this world, but it is CHRIST who lives in me, it is his work, his doing. That for me has been the true cost, realising that it is not my strengths that are my glory, but my weaknesses because only then can his strength be made perfect. We think it is easy to see flesh, because it looks mean, it looks unkind, it looks selfish, however it doesn’t matter how good, kind, nice I am because if that also comes out of self effort, so from flesh then they are just as much “sin” as any of the obvious “bad” flesh. I exhausted myself being good,kind, nice, helpful because as a good Christian that is what I was supposed to be/do. It took me years to realise that I was still working out of the old man, that there was nothing “I” could do to live the good Christian life, it was impossible. It is only as I saw this, and experienced the revelation of my death so that Christ could LIVE in me, that I saw it was all about Him living his life through me, as me, not my effort to be the “good Christian”. That counting the cost is, for me, that internal dying of self, that all the externals count as dung compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing him.
Everything today is geared towards the false self.
To building it up so that we consume consume consume
Our true self, our soul, our deep down human being, is lost amid the trappings of the stuff, the bright lights of fairyland, of tinker bells and peter pans.
We are fractured, splintered, we have lost our true self to become some manufactured doing, performing for validation and adoration
We have re-gowned ourselves with corrupted flesh, in an attempt to cope with overwhelming life
We have forgotten the peace and rest resident in our true self in Christ
We have allowed pain to govern, to rule and snap the gentle ancient path where the good way is.
Come, again bow your head and take hold of the now, the eternal now that is present in Him
Allow it to permeate your present, to reach up out of your soul, your true self and entangle again with the God of Mystery, the God of the eternal now,