SURVIVAL – Natural vs. Spiritual
In ecology, wild animals live and die with one basic drive. And that drive and that motivation is what is known as the survival instinct. And without instinct they become extinct!
All creatures are wired to survive at all cost and to pass on their genes. The instinct to survive is driven by fear. A humane society assumes live and let live, but survival is built on the logic of kill or be killed. The survival instinct drives them to do two basic things: First - To feed, Secondly - To breed.. Only one thing moves them, and that is the will to survive!
It is interesting to see that many times, when man is stripped of everything of comfort and leisure, even so far as to take away his family, his job or career, his identification as a human being - Anything to break him down - there remains the innate desire to survive! Something that cries out from within that says, "I want to live!"
When animals lose their survival instinct they die. They lose it due to sickness, become old and weak then fall prey to other wild animals, or they die from wounds that will not heal!
Against the various forms of fear that drove the religious establishment and political arrangements of his day, Jesus never gave in to fear. Jesus never acted out of the instinct to survive. When confronted with enemies, he turned the other cheek. When exploited, he offered all that he had.
When betrayed by his closest disciples even unto death, he forgave and made them apostles. Contra all the forces of fear in his time, Jesus was the model of selfless love..
As the incarnation of God, he modeled the image of God rather than act like rabid animals, a shepherd of the sheep in a dog-eat-dog world.
Jesus taught the way of spiritual survival, which is completely opposite of natural survival. When we surrender our pride, surrender our will in favor of HIS will, when we LOSE our life to gain HIS, we no longer are subject to our natural survival instinct. Instead we find ourselves doing just the opposite. We give our lives freely to Jesus Christ, we give up our natural pursuits in favor of HIS grand and glorious plan for us. Whatever comes our way in this life from that point is HIS business not ours. Those that seek to save their life – their pride –their will, their pursuit of self pleasure, will lose their life in the end. This is referred to as the second death.
Rev_21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
This second death is what Jesus was talking about in these passages:
Mat_10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
Mat_16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Mar_8:35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
Luk_9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
Luk_17:33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
Joh_12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
Mat_16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mar_8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Luk_9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me..
Christians, upon new birth, have entered a world that is new to them. The desire of God is pounding in their heart, and the memory of the past accompanied by the prospect of the future is enough to make them want to "make it" all the way for God!
But, it’s not long before life and trials bring adversity; Satan assails with doubts and temptations; and the hurts of brothers and sisters have tested that sacred will to survive!
It is then that you must never lose that survival instinct that God first formed in you! There is nothing in the life that can keep you from making it, if you want to make it!
There is nothing that can separate you from that very thing that gave you that will to survive, which is the love of God!
Romans 8:35-39 - Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Yes, we’re in a battle - We’re pursued - but "greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world!"
1 Peter 5:8-10 - "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour; Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."
Remember the two roads:
Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
The broad way is the way of natural survival, but the way to spiritual survival is Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.