The issue looms large in my head. Seems like a simple disagreement between two people. “Not so,” comes the whisper of the Holy Spirit from deep within, “it is much more.” My protest was as weak as water.
For one who has long sought for the Holy Spirit to be in full control of my life, I am here and now given an opportunity to see my prayers become reality—this is indeed a chance to die.
Amy Carmichael, missionary to India in the early 1900s, used the term often. Her biography carries the title A Chance to Die, and there is no way to read her many works without coming face to face with this concept.
Just when we’re sold on the idea that the Christian life is surely the good life, we find embedded within the writings of such great saints as Amy, the mysterious concept of death to self in order to have life with God. Please don’t miss the “in order to.” It is the cause and effect concept: In order to have this, one must do that. We find the same idea in Jesus words: “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”1
So just what does Amy mean by a chance to die? When we are faced with the painful yielding up of our way in order to allow another to have their way, it is a chance—an opportunity—to die to self. And when our flesh screams a gut-wrenching “Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!” we can deliberately choose to give up our right in favor of God’s will.
We can easily know God’s will in such matters. The instructions to love one another, forgive one another, submit to one another, and turn the other cheek are strategically implanted throughout our divine instruction manual. It is with spiritual eyes that we can see these golden opportunities to practice what we preach.
Once we begin to look for them, we can see them everywhere—in our own little nothingness-bickerings—a chance to say “No” to self. After all, that is the essence of Calvary—Jesus saying “No” to having His way. Because of the Father’s plan to redeem mankind, Jesus didn’t demand His right to live, but saw it as a chance to die so others could live.
What makes us think our “deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me,” will be anything less?2 It won’t. Each little controversy, each yielding and submission to God’s way is an opportunity to be like Jesus, that is, if we can recognize it as such—a chance to die. ~ Janie Kellogg
Key Quote: “Welcome anything that calls you to your only true position: ‘I have been crucified with Christ….3 A crucified life cannot be self-assertive. It cannot protect itself. It cannot be startled into resentful words. The cup that is full of sweet water cannot spill bitter-tasting drops, however sharply it is knocked.”4 ~ Amy Carmichael
For more Secret Place Secrets visit www.treasureinearthenvessels.net and follow the footprints.
1Luke 9:24; 2Mark 8:34; 3Galatians 2:20; 4Amy Carmichael, You Are My Hiding Place, Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, MN, 1991, Pg. 74.