To find your life, you have to lose it first.
In 2003 I took a class at church presented by apostle Leigh Collins called Creative Movement and Dance. For our end of year project we had to dance or move out our testimony of something we had overcome in our lives. For my project I chose to open by reading
“Mat 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” and then to act out, in a rather abstract manner, how I laid down sport to come to Bible College, got married, went into the mission field, lost my husband, was persecuted by my in-laws and then how during every crisis I ran back to sport to comfort me, until I finally realised it could never fill the gaping hole in my heart and soul that only Jesus and the Word can, and I then finally left sport for good and focused on Christ. At the end of my piece my children walked forward as my husband read this excerpt from a teaching by apostle Andre Pelser about leaving behind a spiritual inheritance for your generations after you:
“Leave behind a Godly inheritance of accurate prescribed mentalities for our children to appropriate the life of Christ in their generation with full access to the resources of the Spirit of God operating in the mature Body of believers”.
During the course of the last few weeks I was just pondering with thanksgiving over the amazing work the Lord has done in our family. As I was doing this I remembered the words of apostle Aje Pelser the night of the performance as I sat weeping because I felt it was such a flop, and he said, “You know I could see what you were acting out, it’s not complete yet, God is finishing a remarkable story through your family, let Him complete it and one day it will bless and encourage many.”
This Sunday past (28 September 2014) the Holy Spirit directed the song leader teacher Chantal Pelser to sing a song we wrote in the worship team in 2010 and the bridge is; “Gotta lose your life to find it, Gotta lose your life to find it, Loose your life to find eternal life!”
And I remembered the acting out I had done in 2003. Then apostle Andre Pelser preached on Mary who chose that better thing in
Luke 10:38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
And as he ministered the Holy Spirit reminded me that in 1997 in a house hold (home cell) meeting I received a word, “You have chosen that one thing that is needed, don’t give it up for anything, and God will reward you”. At that point I was in Bible College here at Harvester Reformational Church.
As the preaching went on, on Sunday morning apostle Andre shared with us how Mary had first been serving the people with her sister Martha, but was listening to what Jesus was saying and then chose to deem His words more important at the time than to look after the needs of those attending. So in that moment she chose the more important of the two activities. There at His feet she received the thing she needed.
Then in Joh 12:1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
She anoints Jesus’s feet which is the very place where she had found what she had need of and give up or sacrificed her most prized possession – in those days her entire life savings – to give ‘back’ to her Lord what He had meant to her. This very Mary is also the mother of Mark who wrote the Gospel according to Mark and was also a disciple of the apostle Paul. (complete sermon to be found on www.harvesterchurch.net by clicking on the live stream link)
I realized this is what God has done in my life. Every time we as parents chose to deny our comfort and go to church, Bible College, conference, summer school, spring school, summit, camps, ladies meeting, men’s meeting, workshop, house hold meeting, youth conference, youth cell, youth gathering, youth social – those times we chose that better thing. Those were the times we lost our lives (the things we would rather have liked to do) and have found it. Every time we chose to bring our tithe and offering, give sacrificially, give double or triple tithe (and most of the time we don’t have it to give, but we do it trusting the Lord we heard Him and He will honor us in way that make sense to us). And there were times where we felt to cancel a function or party or other event to rather gather with the other believers there where the Lord was speaking through His chosen vessels. We took the children out of school and later when I started home schooling stopped the weeks activities, sport etc. to be at the conference or summit. We supported events like The Good News, Prisoners (to be performed again 8 November 2014 at Bellville North Primary), Creation Dance, JOB, the release and launch of CD’s Reformation, All Nations School of Worship, Blues CD’s, Art auctions, Swim fundraisers, Soccer fundraisers and the like, everything and anything that supports the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus.
The outcome thus far has been that in every area we have had need especially toward the children, the Lord provided through the church, without us asking or crying to the church for help. My eldest daughter cried because she wanted to dance again, but we did (still don’t) have the finances, that Sunday the dance leader prophet Lynette Collins asks me if it would be ok for them to use her for the theater production The Good News to dance. A year later a spot in a dance school opened in modern and contempory, she was welcomed and received a bursary to attend. My other daughter wanted to get involved in the arts especially mime, filming and sound. Apostle Leigh Collins who is also a professional Mime, held a few workshops and she attended each one and loved it, it was free of charge. The Marco Meyer our sound engineer agreed to her becoming his disciple in sound engineering in church (my husband also does the sound so now it is great as a tool to continue strengthening their bond, Sunday early mornings and evenings are now their time), and apostle Aje teaches film directing and videography and held a course at our local library which I took her to and now she helps with filming in the church and is receiving further training to do things on her own, one of those was rather recent when she filmed a whole concert on her own at the spur of the moment and did really well, without any assistance, she is currently editing the footage and enjoying it. My girls needed tutoring in their Language and we can’t afford one, so an ordained teacher form the church teacher Neil Lombaard approached us and said he felt the Lord lead him to come and teach the girls their language, he came through every Saturday morning or afternoon for an entire term and a bit and helped them until they could go on, on their own. Our eldest daughter still dances in church now being trained as a worship dance leader, she scribes in the scribe orbit and performs in the theater productions. Our other daughter received a sponsorship to do athletics, and then the coach received brand new top of the range Nike Spikes and he gave them to her, perfect size, perfect fit. She also worked with and rode a horse for almost a year and received lessons for a year free of charge. She worked on the farm yes, but it was fun and stimulating, she didn’t see it as work, she loved it, the scrubbing, mucking, cleaning, feeding, grooming fixing and so much more. Now none of my children are exceptionally gifted athletes or academics, they work hard, they persevere, but they don’t have the medals and trophies and more, yet God made these provisions happen. A school made room for the boys to play cricket. A builder friend of ours in church has started taking my one son with to work from time to time and lets him work on the sites and trains him in skills he can handle and pays him for the work he does.
Through the church they have received surfing lessons. Other children have received music lessons and exposure and are now in the various worship teams playing trumpet, French horn, bass guitar and singing. They get exposed to various sports and art forms and often receive their training from the specialists in the church. They have received Art lessons, creative thinking workshops, public speaking workshops, acting, photography, coaching and more. When we needed food or clothing, the Lord would stir someone to clean out their clothing cupboard and give the clothing to us, them being none the wiser how desperately we needed it, or He would stir someone to go and buy us groceries. All our needs have been met through the church without us having to ask or plead. The church is not our source, Jesus is, and the church is His channel.
The key I want to bring across and share is, losing my life by allowing Jesus to increase and me to decrease, will cause me to find my life and make room for my children to be trained and function in the mature Body of Christ. The past two years the Lord has provided for us through the greater Body of Christ, people not in the church where we are added, and we didn’t ask them for help, they Lord sent them to us.
I don’t have to work for God’s favor I already have it, but doing the things I listed above I did because I wanted to show Him I think what He has to say is important to me, I think what He wants to do is important to me, and in truth it’s my way of saying “Thank You”. Making myself available for Him to teach me, then applying what He taught and then sharing it with others and showing them how to apply the Word in a practical way in their every day life, making my finances available for His work to go forth, it is doing Romans 12 laying down my body as a living sacrifice which is my reasonable service. And in doing this I am allowing the Word of God to conform and transform me, by the renewing of my mind so that my life can show forth His good, acceptable and perfect will.
So let us continue to lose our lives for the sake of the Gospel to go forth and be formed in and through us. Let us continue to allow Jesus to increase in us so we can decrease. Let us continue to choose that one thing that is needed, that good part, and watch and be astounded at what God does in return.
Make seeking Him the most pre-eminent thing in our lives and He will take care of so many things (all the things) we think we need to take care of.
(c) Celeste Glass
(c) Celeste Glass