Thursday, November 19, 2009

the wedding of a dear friend I recently got to perform...

It seems that recently, the Lord has surrounded me with men and women who have a true passion for our Savior, and understand what it means to live for Him... which means dying. Some have been revealed in books I'm reading, others who die in their lives every day.

I confess I need these people in my life to remind me of why I am here. I can get weary, and lose focus all too easily.

In our office, we received a letter from one of our fighting men, currently serving in Afghanistan. He relayed stories of battle. I am tremendously humbled by what he has seen and experienced. He is a leader of men, and speaks about covering each time they "leave the wire" with prayer. I assume that means leaving the safety of the base.

He and his men do this twice a day. He has seen and experienced many IED's. He saw seven men give their lives. A memory he says that will be forever etched in his mind.

(I often wonder what impact watching Christ give His life for me might have on may day to day choices).

He speaks of knowing that the Lord has his wife and sons held in protection, whether he lives or dies. Clearly, he wants to return to them. However, he understands the greater purpose.

Understanding the greater purpose in life is something I am afraid many tend to miss.

Our men and women who go off to war understand the potential cost.

War wages around us every day. Few of us are prepared or believe it necessary, to pay the potential cost.

We abide in a "microwave existence."

Everything from our day to day choices to our theology, point to instant gratification. We seek to serve the god of self, over a Savior who bled, died and resurrected that we might have eternal life. Most of our decision making serves to meet our immediate needs and desired pleasures, rather than bringing glory to Him.

Even our lack of knowledge in sharing the Gospel reveals what is truly important to us... relationship with Christ is more about keeping oneself from eternity in Hell, than making sure others have the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

One of the results of our lack of understanding of our relationship with Him is that someone like BJ becomes the exception instead of the rule.

He loves each of us so much and set forth a plan that was designed to reach the world. It involves us telling people the greatest news ever! Even in John 9, when the blind man washed in the pool of Siloam, was set free from bondage and gained spiritual sight (as well as physical) he understood that "saved" meant "sent."

So, he went. He told people about Jesus.

I think of the man in Afghanistan that lays his life down everyday. He does this to protect a greater cause. He happens to be a believer who understands that he serves a God who is in control. He has all authority over every IED, over every son of every father or mother over there. He yields to that control and trusts Him for whatever outcome brings Him the greatest glory.

Too many times, I don't yield.

I listened to a sermon recently that talked about the greatest form of idolatry being "self." I was greatly convicted as I listened to it twice. He spoke of our need to yield even our "free time" to the Lord.

The activities we engage in when not occupied by work, church or other are to bring glory to our Savior.

I assure you, I find no glory for the Lord when I watch my latest, favorite show on tv.

We all need down time. But if down time fills our minds with activities or principles which draw us closer to the world than the Lord, then we need press the reset switch.

I don't like this message. In fact, I despise it. I am good at disengaging when I have an opportunity. I want the freedom to relax as I see fit.

Unfortunately, too often, what 'I see fit' means doing what brings me pleasure, to the exclusion of a mighty God.

This is where dying daily really connects or comes unhinged. It's not just about going to church or having personal Bible study. It's about seeking to bring Him glory with every breath... every decision... every activity... every thought.

How can I change my routine to incorporate more of what points others to Christ?

I can leave the tv off and pick up the Word or another book which sharpens my mind to His precepts. I can pour into my wife. I can pour into my children. I can volunteer. I can speak into the lives of others, even when I don't feel like it. I can engage in discussion on worthy topics in relaxed public settings (I don't mean to promote my own holiness but to edify others who may not hear otherwise).

People around the world are dying. Some lay their lives down willingly. All have an appointment at the judgment seat.

If "faith without deeds is dead," (James 2:26) then isn't it time we do something about the stench of decay rising from within our own hearts?

He is worth any cost... dying daily is only the beginning!



At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Brenda said...

Thank you for sharing. At our church the pastor had two sermons on the "Carnal Christian". It was sobering and convicting as I realized he was describing me. What I love about God is that He accepts me back, washes me up and points me in the right direction. We serve an Awesome God.

At 7:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the photo, Brent!

After reading your blog today, I wanted to send on a prayer request for a high school friend of mine who just arrived in-country in Afghanistan a week ago. She will be the commander over a squadron of airmen at a forward operating base in the mountains for the next year. I know she would appreciate prayer.

Cousin Becky

At 2:35 PM, Blogger Hannah said...

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Higgins,
I just finished reading, "I would die for you." I absolutely loved this book. It is an incredible thing to see a young man so devoted to God. He is an inspiration to me spiritually and I almost cried while reading it. Your book challenged me to think about why God says "no" sometimes, no matter if there are thousands of people praying. I have learned a lot about the soveriegnty of God. BJ was an inspiration for me eternally. Thank you so very much.


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