By Bill Davis
“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it,� (Mark 8:34-35)
Jesus said for us to take up our cross, follow Him, and be willing to relinquish life as we go. If I am going to spend my life, there has to be something worth spending my life for. If you are going to take an hour of my life, it has to be for something good, because once you have taken that hour I will not get it back. It is gone. Therefore, I have to be very careful about the amount of time that I relinquish because I am not going to be able to replace it.
This younger generation does not count life of much value. They squander it like crazy, like there is a reservoir of life and they can go draw some more out. But that is not going to happen. Job said, “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle� (Job 7:6).
Life is so fragile and so short. It is like snowflakes that fall into a great body of water, melt, and then are no more. James talked about life like a vapor, driven away by the wind. The clock is always ticking. The pages of a calendar are always turning.
When you look back on your life, where did you go with it? What did you do with it? How do you live it now? Since I am going to get older, and since I cannot save my life, I can choose my purpose. I can make a choice as to which way to lose it. I know how I am going to lose my life; I am going to be a one-God, Jesus Name, Apostolic, Spirit-filled individual.
Noah preached one hundred and twenty years about the building of an ark. But while he preached, he also felled trees. Week by week, month by month, they went to the forest and pulled another tree.
“What are you doing with your life, Noah?”
“I’m building an ark.”
“Isn’t there anything better that you can do with your life, Noah?”
“No, the best thing that I can do with my life is build an ark.”
Noah lost his years, lost his health, and he lost energy for the vehicle that saved his household.
I know young folks that are going to lose their lives to alcohol, drugs and fast cars. I know other young people that are going to lose their life around the altar, in a Sunday School class, or in the choir. When it is all said and done, the man on drugs or the girl in the choir are all going to lose their lives. It is the purpose that matters.
I have two sons and a daughter. I could have invested my life in a car dealership. I could have invested my time in real estate. However, my wife and I made our choice to be the strongest dominant influence in the lives of our three kids. We made up our minds that we are going to see our family saved. We will lose our lives saving our family.
Saul wasted eighteen years of his life chasing David, trying to kill a man that God was not going to let him kill. God would have helped him destroy the Hittites and the Philistines. But, no, he wanted to destroy David. And David said to Saul, `I am but a dead dog, just a flea. I am the least of your purposes. Why have you invested another day, slept another night in a cave, climbed another mountain, stumbled down another cliff? Why are you sweating and exhausting yourself to kill me? I am not worthy of that effort.’
For what purpose are we killing ourselves? What are we spending our energies on? What is draining our life from us? There has to be something better than just chasing fleas and dogs and the nothings in life. I know what I want to sweat over � a sermon, a revival. I want to baptize someone. I want to go to church. I want to help the pastor and the youth director.
Why is it that some people can lose so much of their life over so little? Why is so much energy and effort spent over so little of anything in life? Samson died at forty years of age. He was barely out of the conquerors group. Four chapters, ninety-six verses, two riddles, three names, two prayers, five feats of victory and at forty years old he prayed his second prayer. He prayed twice in forty years. Neither time did he invest the prayer for the revival, or the salvation of his people, or for better leadership. At no time did he make himself accountable to a minister or a man of God.
Samson performed some great feats, but the concluding part of his life is that he brought a Pagan temple down destroying himself with his enemy. He died about 70 or 80 years too soon. He squandered his forty years to where there was nothing left to draw from in the rest of his life.
You have to spend your life some way. You can let your body be the house and temple of the Holy Ghost. You can lay hands on the sick and they will recover. You can get prayers through and have healings brought about by your prayers. You may think that everybody else is just wasting their time in the prayer room. That is not true. When the prayer time is over, everybody has thirty minutes less time, but their time was invested in eternal things while you were out waltzing around the lobby.
Ladies and gentlemen, there are great things to be done for God. There are walks with God that can be overwhelming and overpowering. I want to live and die in the House of God. I want to drop dead preaching the Word of God. Jesus said to Martha that she was cumbered and that Mary chose the better part, to be close to Him. Today, we are cumbered with many good, honest things. We do not have to be. There is a better choice. You do not always choose what happens to you, but you do choose your responses.
When the woman wept and broke the alabaster box, they said, `To what purpose is this waste?’ Jesus told them, `Do not go there. Do not even start with how you could have sold it and given it to the poor. It is not a social issue we are dealing with here. She is doing something that will leave a mark for many, many years to come.’
Ladies and gentlemen, the best in you and me never comes out until the purpose we take our container and break it in our prayer and our worship to God. Then the best starts flowing out of us. If you will pray and worship, and be faithful to your pastor, you
will break open the container of your life and the best of you will flow out. .
Right now, you have your life before you and you must decide today what is important enough to risk your health and energies for. We are all going to lose our life. It is the purpose that is so critical and so important to us.
This article “It is the Purpose that Matters” written by Bill Davis is excerpted from his book The Gates of Hell and the Prevailing Church.