On the last weekend in June, The Inn held the 5th Annual His Land Our Land Conference. This is always a powerful time as we hear from Lance Lambert and Dave Kubal and learn how we can effectively direct our prayers of intercession on behalf of our nation and the nation of Israel.
With each year comes a strong word for us as well, His Church. I will share briefly here the admonishment and encouragement from Lance that so powerfully touched us the final night of the conference.
Crucifying the Self-Life
Our will is the biggest problem in our Christianity. It goes right back to the beginning. In the Garden of Eden, by asking the question “Did God really say?” Satan tempted Adam and Eve to choose their will over God’s will. Satan wanted them to believe that God’s will was flawed, and they should do as they wished. Down through the ages, this has been our continual problem.
Why do we have complaints, all the whining, and the bad attitudes? It is because we have not fully surrendered our will to the Lord. In fact, all of our problems in church life, family, marriage, and ministry come from the uncrucified “I’s” – the self-life. We always want our wills to be done.
The goal of the gospel is that we become living sacrifices – holy, acceptable to God, and this is our reasonable service of worship (Romans 12:1). Paul wrote “I have been crucified with Christ.” He considered himself to be a bondslave; he had no pay, no rights, and was on-call 24 hours a day. His work was to do the will of the Lord.
In ancient times, a ring was placed on the bondservant’s ear as a symbol of belonging to a master. This is such a fitting place for a mark of ownership! If the master doesn’t have the servant’s ear, he doesn’t have the servant. In the same way, if we desire to be the bondservant of Christ, He must also have our ears. What is the point of having hands and feet in service to God, but you can’t hear what it is the Lord wants? If your desires are so much more important than His that you can’t make room in your heart to hear them, our service and intercessions are useless. You must hear the Lord in order to do His will.
So then the question for the believer shouldn’t be how to live the Christian life… it’s how do I die? It is no wonder we have so much apostasy. The enemy knows that if you do your own will, it will destroy you. But the scriptures testify in 1 John 2:17, “The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” So the enemy has been hard at work proclaiming his lie “Do what thou wilt.”
Consider Jesus’ response to Peter in Mark chapter 8. As Jesus was teaching the disciples that He must suffer many things and be killed and raised up again, Peter takes Him aside to rebuke Him. Instead the Lord rebukes Peter saying, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Jesus identifies this line of thinking to Satan’s ways. You see, Satan doesn’t have to get us to follow him. If we would just follow ourselves, that’s just as good for his purposes because it will lead to our destruction.
The uncrucified self-life has the fires of hell with it. It will destroy your service and your whole Christian life with it. Let us remember the admonishment from Our Lord Jesus Christ in Mark 8:34-35:
When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.”