Recently, during a brief conversation, a colleague in the office jokingly called me a loser. I smiled over it and did not display any resentment. Instead, I asked myself, “Mike, are you a loser?” If I am a loser, what are the catalogues of my losses? Again, if I am a winner, where is my list of victories?
As I thought of these questions, I began to think about other things in the world that have experienced victories and losses. Gold, for example, before it can become a shiny, desirable and precious metal, must first lose many stains and impurities. And like gold, my skin cannot be smooth and healthy unless I lose dirt and grime in the bath. Or what about your blood? It cannot bring life to every organ in your body unless it loses waste and poisons as it flows through your kidneys and your liver. You cannot breathe unless your nose and lungs frequently lose globs of mucous and germs. And if you are obese, you cannot be healthy and have a pain-free future, unless you begin to lose weight.
As I thought more and more, I noticed that this pattern extends beyond the physical and tangible into the spiritual.
- I lost ignorance of worldliness to gain deep insight of the wisdom of God.
- I lost the deceitfulness of worldliness in order to know the truth. “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:32)
- I lost the horrible nature of sinfulness when self is subjected to the cleansing blood of Jesus.
- I lost character of wickedness of man to partake in the holy characters of God.
- I lost being a sadist when I experienced the joy of salvation through Christ.
- I lost gossiping with man in order to become an intercessor before God.
- I lost occultic membership to become son and daughter of God (2 Cor 6:14-18)
- I lost the hindering clogs in the wheel of my life to attain the glorious goals of God.
- I lost the bondage of sin to cling to freedom of salvation in Christ through faith.
- I lost being part of the problem to become part of the solution.
- I lost the inhibiting physical weight of sin to become spiritually healthy. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
- I lost the weight of malice to free myself from the imprisonment of my soul.
Every time you lose something, you unwittingly gain something. If you choose to abandon hatred and racism, you break new ground and build a beautiful and peaceful relationship where we can all better love each other in unity and harmony. If we choose to abandon the hostility of war in our relationships, we unwittingly enter into peaceful relationships that can benefit humanity and bring forth glory to God Almighty, the Creator. You are a blessed and victorious loser, if you can escape from the archenemy of man and lose your grip on Satan and at the same time cling to God Almighty for salvation and blessed hope of eternity. Endeavor to take hold of God’s grace by constantly putting your faith in His Word. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8) “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37) But if you don’t lose sinfulness and worldliness, you cannot attain the nature of God Almighty which is holiness and righteousness. If you don’t lose wickedness, kindness will be a strange vocabulary to you. If you are still clinging to a life of deception and falsehood, you are far away from the heart of integrity.
During the fall season in colder nations of the and also during the dry season in the tropical countries, trees generally lose their green leaves. But that is not the end of those trees. They are simply preparing to attain stronger stems. More branches form on the tree, bringing in new and beautiful foliage that helps the tree bear more abundant fruit. The fallen leaves decay and fertilize the soil. So also, a believer will have to lose the clogs in the wheel of his Christian life that he may grow in faith.
Sometimes, a good farmer must do more than wait for the seasons. Sometimes, he must proactively cut off the branches that hinder the vine from bearing fruit. He makes the vine lose it branch so that it may bear more fruit. Jesus said of Himself, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” (John 15:1-2) I am a joyful and a victorious loser because I subjected myself to the pruning in the hands of the Almighty God, the Vinedresser, so that I can bear more fruit. Pruning of shortcomings in our character through the revelation of the word of God should not be considered as a punishment for Christians. The Bible tells us that the Lord God is the Vinedresser. He prunes the lives of everyone who abides in Christ so that they can bear more fruit. Spiritual pruning entails removal of shortcomings and sinful character that inhibits our spiritual growth and maturity. “Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” And: I will be a Father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18) God trims the inhibiting branches in our lives so that the best parts of us can begin to bear fruit. When the spiritual trimming takes place in our lives, the best of our Christian life will be revealed for the glory of God. “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11)
One great example of God’s pruning is Saul of Tarsus. Saul of Tarsus, was a prominent legal luminary of his time, a Pharisee, and an ardent persecutor of believers of Jesus Christ. One day he encountered Jesus Christ on his way to Damascus and became transformed. Saul of Tarsus became Paul of Jesus when he abandoned all his wicked and sinful way and cling to Jesus. He became an apostle of Jesus Christ to the Gentile that wrote about one third of the New Testament. He lost all the accolade of worldliness, but he gained Christ and eternity. When he was recounting the catalogue of his lost and gain, he said, “Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” (Philippians 3:4-8)
Look inward today and think about all aspects of your life. Look unto God, the Author and Finisher of your faith, and consider your ways and those things you hold in higher esteem than God Almighty. Sincerely put God first and cover yourself in the waters of His indelible and impeccable holy word. We must lose the worldliness that leads us to besetting sin so that our ways can become acceptable unto God. When God’s desire for your life begins to manifest, we will appreciate the victory over worldliness that we lost. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2) Beloved of the Lord, like Apostle Paul, relax, take a deep breath and make a wise choice by distancing yourself from worldliness so that you may lay hold on Christ. He will never let you go and will never let you down.
Prayer: Oh Merciful Father, You are the Author of my life. Endow me the grace to know and understand what you desire of me. With this enlightened heart, endow me the grace to choose and hold to what is right in your sight, and be able to discard all sinfulness that had become clog in the wheel of my relationship with you, so that in the end of my journey on earth I will be accepted in your righteous side in Jesus name, Amen.