Listening to the Relient K song "give until there is nothing left" I started to reflect on what it means to “give my life" away.  As I thought about all the things that I have given up in my service to Christ I thought quietly to myself, "is there a limit to how much we can give?"

Has anyone outside of Jesus ever given it all away?  Paul was poured out like a drink offering which ultimately led to his eventual execution.  John gave it all and it led him to be dropped into a caldron of hot oil only to live and write the most incomprehensible book ever written, the book of Revelation!  Polycarp was burned alive. Peter was crucified upside down, others beheaded for the sake of being a follower of Jesus and His message of the kingdom of Heaven

I truly know that there are people right now who are imprisoned because they refused to serve the gods of their nation.  Others are being executed in the name of saving the nation from false doctrine.  Many more are separated from their families and left penniless and prison bound because they would not forsake Christ.

But have I gotten to the place of complete emptiness.  It seems so far and deep a process for me, how about you?  Please listen to me I am not trying to scare you but to forewarn you and prepare you for the realities that lie ahead of all of us!

John 17:14 says, "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world."  Notice Jesus gives us His Word and immediately we are to assume that the world including our America hates us!  Not because we are not nice people or that we are not a blessing to our neighborhood or school or company.  NO it is simply because we have the light of Christ in us and therefore the world hates us.  Light has come into the world and the darkness did not comprehend the light!

We try so hard to win them over to how great Jesus is.  We apologize for how bad christians act toward people outside of their system of faith.  We think if they love truth they will love us or if they just hang around long enough they will see that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. 

Jesus message is the most compelling message ever preached but that doesn't mean our culture or any nation will just let us walk up and tell them His Claims and respect us!  They will not respect us they will hate us unless the Lord moves upon their hearts and flips them upside down and makes them see the reality of their absolute need of Him and His blood to experience true freedom.

No my friends I think it is going to take a public display of hatred for us believers in His Name before true revival comes and oneness in the body!

Let me ask you to meditate on this verse in the same chapter of John v21 "that they all may be one, as You, Father, [are] in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me."   Why in the world are we not one?  Jesus prays perfect faith filled prayers and we are not fulfilling the desire of His heart and the desire of the Father's heart.  What is wrong with us?  Why can't we be naturally one in Jesus?

Finally, the verse has this very powerful statement of fact.  "that the world may believe that You sent Me"  When we move in Christ in oneness then we will see more true converts to Jesus then we have ever before in our lives!

Dying for Christ is a way to for us to die to self and live for Christ but there are so many other expressions of love to Christ that we might not consider as high on the scale as those who are martyred for Christ.

I Cor 13:3 "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing."

A person who loves people far exceeds in grace that individual who stands up publicly and openly challenges the civil authorities and calls them to repentance but in his heart he is proud and superior toward others.

This emptying of self is more then venting our fears and anxieties though necessary, to our Father.  Venting is not emptying ourselves but exposes our issues.  When the Grace of God comes in and allows our emotions to alter and become His emotions. A good example of this idea is found in Ps 10.  In verse 1, David cries out, "Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? [Why] do You hide in times of trouble?

By the time David ends his prayer in verse 17 he emphatically states, "LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear," How is it possible that David goes from despair to complete confidence in God’s presence?  It is a matter of the heart... when he saw the wicked lurking in the back alleys of Hebron and with their devious schemes so he was distraught. 

David so beautifully vents and in so doing he allows God's grace to come in by pressing in with all his fears and then God's spirit imparts comfort and confidence that reminds of God's immensity and His infallible promises.

My dear fellow strugglers in faith, this emptying process is long and it requires steadfastness and commitment to God's word.  Even when you don't feel like praying, you pray, cry out, and vent. So that by faith you empty the unbelief and doubt so that you can be filled with the blessed fruit of the Spirit!

Rom 8:11 "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."

Carnal mindedness or self mindedness is against the Holy Spirit and His desire to work truth into your emotions by captivating your mind with the ways of God and His promises.  We must get all the carnality out of our hearts as the Lord graciously exposes our wicked ways we then by faith apply for fresh measures of grace from the infinite reservoir of mercy and grace found only in the eternal Godhead.

Praise Him for all His goodness and we will soon experience His sanctifying work and rousing touch in those places we have exposed and dumped before His compassionate throne.  This we do even in our most desperate of times.