Dying is easy! What would you die for? Your country? Your Family? Your Savior? YES! And some are given that opportunity to show the “greatest love” by giving up their life for those they love. But we ALL are asked by our Lord to “lay down our life.” Now that’s something different altogether!
As Oswald Chambers writes, “Jesus does not ask me to die for Him, but to lay down my life for Him.” And there is a task that is do much harder to do! You can only die for someone once! But to lay down your life is a daily, even moment by moment, sacrifice that is far more difficult, for after it is done, you must do it yet again and again. “It is far easier to die than to lay down the life day in and day out with the sense of the high calling.” A life lived with our own desires and dreams set down is a life that truly pleases our Lord, because it is so exceedingly difficult! THAT is the sacrifice. Our life is not worth as much as our LIVING.
“If I am a friend of Jesus, I have to deliberately and carefully lay down my life for Him. It is difficult, and thank God it is difficult. Salvation is easy because it cost God so much, but the manifestation of it in my life is difficult.” (Italics are OC quotes)
What does it mean to lay down your life for Jesus? For each of us, it will mean something different, but for all of us it means to put His agenda for our life first – to set aside our desires and dreams – to seek Him first and His righteousness – to ask Him each day what HE wants for us in that day – to live in today and let go of the future.
There have been times I wished to die for Jesus, and how easily in those moments I could have let go and entered into His presence, but He asks me instead, “Will you lay it down for me?”
“Yes, Lord, YES! Not my will, but Yours be done!” Now there is a prayer that is hard to pray, and even harder to live…but that leads to LIFE!
What are you wanting? Lay it down.
What are you clinging to? Lay it down.
What are you harboring? Lay it down.
What is hurting you? Lay it down.
What are you waiting for? Lay it down.
What are you regretting? Lay it down.
THERE IS A STORY of a woman who was carrying a huge and obviously heavy trunk down the street so a bus stopped and the driver offered her a ride. After explaining that she had no money for the bus, the driver insisted that she let him give her a lift. She reluctantly got on board with her trunk and the bus driver continued down the route. It wasn’t until they had driven quite a few blocks that the driver noticed that the woman was still struggling to hold the trunk. When he suggested she set it down and take a seat and rest she responded, “Sir, you were so kind to give me a rid for free, I didn’t want to bother you with my load as well.”Obviously, the bus driver was already carrying her load! Despite her good motives, her holding it was pointless after she accepted the free ride. But why do we, even after having accepted the free gift of salvation and a ride to eternal life with Jesus, insist on carrying our loads, lest we “burden” our Savior?
Lay it down!