For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? ~Matt 16:26
Or what would a mama give in exchange for her child's soul? I read of God's people following after the ways of the world and sacrificing their children to demons (Psalm 106:37). Why would you do such a thing? What drives a parent to give their child over to such wickedness? The world. Fear. Doubt.
This morning I was led to pray failure for my children. Failure! Why? Because I've been trying something different during prayer lately.
Can Jesus Christ see the agony of His soul in us? He can't unless we are so closely identified with Him that we have His view concerning the people for whom we pray. May we learn to intercede so wholeheartedly that Jesus Christ will be completely and overwhelmingly satisfied with us as intercessors. ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
I've been seeking/striving/learning to not use my time in prayer for prayer alone, but for worship. Can I really practice one without the other? Can I really pray in Jesus' Name without first recognizing who He is? Can I agonize with Jesus for another without becoming one with Him? A mysterious thing happens when we offer praises to Almighty. I'm not talking about out of body, mystical experiences. I'm referring to real-life changes in our thoughts, our desires, and our understanding of people and events around us.
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it
shall be done for you. John 15:7
My motherly flesh has ideas about what's best for my children: academic success; a stable, high paying job; good health; a secure retirement plan; anything that will guarantee their comfort and safety. But what does their Lord want? Because ultimately they are His first, and mine second. I have them on loan for just a brief moment, and my only responsibility- point them to Jesus.
So I worship and sit in awe. I envision a grand throne, and on it sits the Savior. He is my Master. He is praying for this mama and for these little ones; the ones entrusted to me. And what is His desire? I find no longing for prosperity, or safety, or success, or even health. This Perfect One has one perfect care- that they would hunger and thirst for the God that quenches and satisfies.
And which of us with full bellies and fat checkbooks will plead to God for needs that don't exist. Why would my children seek out Living Water and the Bread of Life when they are feasting on greasy cheeseburgers and deep fried french-fries? In making themselves rich, and having need of nothing, they can't see that they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.
It's in their weakness He's made strong. It's when they fall, He lifts them up. It's through the deep waters and burning flames that The Rescuer is revealed.
I don’t want to ask that "we make it safely to school this morning" but rather, "Lord, whatever it takes to show us our desperate need, and make us crave you more, let it be!" I don’t want it to be easy, I want it to be fruitful. I don’t want my children to do it all right and never know the disappointment of seeing the flesh fail. I want them to fall face first and see that they are nothing without Christ and that while Christ is everything with or without them, He pursues them so that they will pursue Him.
What drives a parent to sacrifice their children's souls? Fear. When I imagine my children failing, I transfer that failure to myself. Suddenly their failure becomes my failure. All of a sudden I bear all responsibility for that poor test score, the missing homework assignment, or the really, really, really bad choice that was made. And if I am responsible for their failure, then I must be just as responsible for their success. And when they see me beating myself up and knocking myself around for their failure, they will either condemn themselves for my sake, or grow in bitterness toward me because I am the reason they can't do anything right.
No one is perfect! No, not one! Reflecting their failure on myself requires taking the light off of Christ. And taking the light off of Christ means they will not run to Him in need.
What good is it if they gain the whole world and lose their souls? What benefit is the best education, finest stick built home, and secured bank account when you're spending eternity in misery?
Self sufficient, independent, strong and capable children who recognize their desperate need for the Risen Lord- Impossible? No, but rare.
Yes, I want them to succeed, be happy, live pain free, and not have to worry about tomorrow. But what I want more than that is for them to hunger and thirst! I need them to need the Savior. The self-sufficient, independent, strong and capable child lacks nothing and has need of no one. He who finds himself poor, blind, destitute, and lonely also comes to find himself in Christ- not in a career, or a sport, or a spouse, or even a religion.
In Christ alone the lost are found,
To the one in need- will grace abound.
The rich, the proud, the able one,
How hard it is to need the Son.
But when you fail and when you fall,
You come to find He's your all in all.
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