Look Up

Jesus said, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 16:25). Whoever seeks to find their identity, purpose, and meaning in life within themselves, i.e. in the natural orders things, will lose it. We naturally see life from our own perspective and see people and events solely in relationship to our own selves. Thinking that the world revolves around us is an illusion. People who try to define and defend themselves and fail to go beyond themselves, never discover the person God intended them to be.

Those who desire only matter dishonor it. The person who seeks only the body diminishes it. Those who desire only the things of this world actually defile it. We “tend the garden” by transcending it. The tulip doesn’t open up until the sun shines upon it. We live in darkness until the Son shines upon us. “Therefore if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:1-3).

Sheila Cassidy, a British doctor, was imprisoned in Chile in 1975 for giving medical treatment to a revolutionary. She was tortured and moved to another cell where she found a tattered bible. Opening the bible she saw a picture of a man being pummeled by lightening, thunder, and hail. At first she identified herself with the suffering of the man, and longed to be free from the prison and torment. Then she looked at the upper part of the picture and saw the hand of God reaching down, and the words from Romans 8:39, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God.”

She no longer saw herself as a suffering worm, but as a child of God who was sent there to minister to Marxist women. She held services for them and discovered her own liberation from hatred and the great freedom that comes from it. After eight weeks she was released from prison. If you want to see this world clearly, “set your mind on the things above.”

Dr. Neil

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