A little while ago, I envisioned a ticking time bomb strapped onto my leg and I had no idea of what it was or how it could be diffused. “So what is this ticking bomb?” I asked the Lord and in an instant like lightning striking my brain, He replied: “Self-preservation.”
As I thought about His answer, I realized that if we don’t pick up the cross and deny ourselves, that is self-preservation. Paul said that he kept his body under subjection, lest he be a castaway… Truly, self preservation not dealt with makes us a castaway. I used to think that the scripture that states we can gain the whole but lose our souls was a word for those who don’t believe in Jesus. Not so. It is written to believers in Christ for while it is true that our spirits are saved at the time we first believe in Jesus, the Bible plainly says that we must work out the salvation of our souls with fear and trembling. This lets us know that our souls are not saved until Christ is fully formed in us.
Yes, that ticking tomb bomb is strapped on every person who allows his desires and ways to reign. How many will be blown to smithereens because self is the antichrist sitting on the throne of their hearts?
How each of us must ask God to reveal what desires are not of Him for just like a ticking bomb with a time set for its detonation there is an appointed time for our desires not of God to blow up in our faces UNLESS….?. This is especially true concerning the desire for self-preservation. It’s in direct opposition to the cross.
The Apostle Paul declared that he wished to know only Jesus, and Him.crucified. His words bring great conviction to my soul because while it’s true that I have always wanted Jesus, it has often been Jesus and something or someone along with Him. I have not always gloried in the cross and I have not always kept it in my remembrance that I could not be the disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ unless I forsook all.
As I pondered the vision and asked the Lord to give me more understanding concerning it, the name “Fenelon” came to my mind. I was led to his book “The Seeking Heart” and in his wise and timely message in a chapter called “Come Out of Yourself”, he admonished:
“As long as you live by your own nature you will be open to all of the injustices of men.…… Your self love is terribly touchy. No matter how slightly it is insulted, it screams “Murderer.” Add to this all the insensitivity of others, their disgust at your weakness (and your disgust at theirs) and you have the children of Adam forever tormenting each other. The only hope is to come out of yourself. Lose all your self-interest. Only then can you enjoy the true peace reserved for men of goodwill. Such people have no other will but God’s. If you come to such a place, then what can harm you? You will no longer be attacked through your hopes or fears. You may be worried, inconvenienced or distressed, but you can rest in Him. Love the hand that disciplines you. Find peace in all things- even in going to the cross.”
Whew! Do you have the same arrow in your heart as I do with the remedy of God’s medicine on its tip?