Jesus instructs us to love our enemies, he was a King born in a manger, and he declares that the last shall be first in his Kingdom. Likewise, when we consider being made new and born afresh in him, we must first be willing to die. In John, Jesus uses the seed as a metaphor for new life that comes from death: “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.” John 12:24
Leave it to Jesus to design life that flourishes in the face of death. I love how Jesus moves in the most unexpected and upside down ways. He tends to keep us on our toes.
But how does this work when it comes to humans?
Graham Cook puts it this way:
“Freedom begins when you consider yourself to be dead to sin and alive to Christ. He who is dead is free. Dead people rest in peace. They do not struggle with life. As Christians, once we are dead to sin, we can then focus on simply practicing being alive to God.” The act of surrender and the humble releasing of our own agendas, efforts and desires allows us to drift into the peaceful presence of Jesus, where we are fully pliable and available to his fruit-bearing work.
I’m reminded of doing the “dead-man float” in the swimming pool when I first learned to swim. Slowly allowing my arms and legs to go limp, trusting the water and my breath to hold me up. Hearing only the gentle current of the water lapping by my ears. My body relaxed and open to float wherever the water carried me. As a kid, it seemed almost magical that simply taking a deep breath and holding it, with limbs extended and relaxed, would keep me from sinking.
There is a beautiful serenity found in letting go. And holding our plans and our desires loosely is so counterintuitive to the tightly clenched fists we use to fight our way through this world. It’s almost backwards, or upside down, if you will. But as we release and sink into the arms of the Father, that envelop us like water, we allow the old and dying to be sloughed off. When we allow our sinful desires to die, we are free to rest in the healing presence of Jesus. And it is here that he has the freedom to move, to make us new, and to use our lives to create a plentiful harvest.
While you have taken the time to pause and read these words, take a posture of stillness to hear the Lord speak.
Soul be still, and Spirit speak. Ask Him to reveal what still needs to die or needs to be released so you can fully surrender to the float, surrender to His presence and allow Him to make you new.
About the Author
Britni D’Eliso is a quiet but fearless spirit who is earnestly seeking the beauty of the redemption that Jesus has personally determined for her life. Committed to the truth that listening breeds understanding and understanding results in compassion, she clings to the power of life’s stories. She has embarked on the venture of discovering her own story and lending an ear to the stories lived out in others and savors the trace of Jesus that is woven throughout them all. Currently, that journey has landed her in a balancing act between the role of wife, momma, and a mental health therapist.