Two paradoxes of Christian living… we must die to live; and we must learn to let go, to let God!!!

And Jesus said to his disciples:

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.” Mat 16:24-27

A classic daily devotional

Edited by A. J. Russell

Empty Yourself

Rely on Me alone. Ask no other help. Pay all out in the Spirit of trust that more will come to meet your supply.

Empty your vessels quickly to ensure a Divine Supply.

So much retained by you, so much the less will be gained from Me. It is a Law of Divine Supply.

To hold back, to retain, implies a fear of the future, a want of trust in Me.

When you ask Me to save you from the sea of poverty and difficulty you must trust wholly to Me.  If you do not, and your prayer and faith are genuine, then I must first answer your prayer for help as a rescuer does that of a drowning man who is struggling to save himself.

He renders him still more helpless and powerless until he is wholly at the will and mercy of the rescuer.  So understand My leading.  Trust wholly. Trust completely.

Empty your vessel.  I will fill it.  You ask both of you to understand Divine Supply. It is a most difficult lesson for My children to learn.  So dependent have they become on material supply they fail to understand.  You must live as I tell you.

Depend on Me.

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.  Psalm 4:8

Have we each counted the cost of following Christ, for if we have then we understand, from having read His Word, that the Christian life requires that we cease to be the masters of our own destiny, living as we choose; and that we relinquish completely unto the Master, our Creator God, ALL our perceived rights to our self; including all our will and ambitions, our ways and means of doing things; and that we pick up our cross (symbol of our death) and follow Jesus daily! And the way we do this is that we begin to reprogram ourselves by meditating on God’s ways and means at handling life, by mediating upon, and obeying His Word, as found in the Holy Bible.

In fact Jesus said that we cannot even begin to have a relationship with Him, and He and the Father will not make their abode with us, unless we begin here, by honoring and obeying His Word!

Anything less than that and we are practicing mere religion of man, which attempts to earn something the Bible clearly says comes only by grace, through faith; and that it is not of ourselves, but is a gift from God; and that is the salvation of our souls.

If you find yourself struggling in life, with certain problems and situations that always seems to arise; and if you seem always to be in the same predicament and pickle; then it just may be that the Lord is waiting on you to quit struggling, trying to save yourself, much as a lifeguard is trained to do.

You see lifeguards are trained not to just jump in and rescue a drowning person, unless he has a floatation device to throw to him, or her; and the reason is if he were to grab a drowning person, who is panicking and fighting the water, that drowning person would only pull the rescuer down with him.

So instead sometimes they have to wait until that drowning person is coming up for their last breathe; and have given up rescuing themselves, before he can save them.

Well I have found, and I believe the Scriptures support this, that God operates just like that.

Until we have let go and quit trying to save ourselves; until we have given up depending on our own understanding and our resources; often God will let us flounder and struggle, until we are finally willing to trust Him.

Really what I am describing to you here is the nature of what SIN is all about; and it is exactly that attitude that is found in each of us that has separated us from God to begin with, in that nature which we have inherited from our father Adam; a nature whose predisposition is to always assert our will above God’s; that goes crosswise against God’s original plan and purpose for our life.

Jesus died to provide a door of reconciliation and forgiveness; but that door requires that we each die to ourselves, meaning we cease living for ourselves, and we begin by FAITH to live for Jesus Christ! Selah

God has so much better things for us; but as long as we refuse to let go, and are hanging on to what we have; God cannot release His gifts, and He cannot begin to unfold our destiny in our lives.

God will not be a backseat driver in our life, and he will not operate inside of our little boxes either; and so if we insist on being in control, and of being the masters of our own destinies, doing everything our way, according to our understanding, then God will not stand in our way; He will appliage us, and He will let us continue down our own path… but understand this, the Bible says at the end of that path, there is nothing but eternal separation from God!

So this is God’s standing commandment for ALL of His covenant children, for all those who are pursuing fulfillment of their life, and are willing to first let go of their lives; and trust completely in God:

Proverbs 3:5-8

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.

8 It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.

So do you want to know what the secret is to an abundant life; and how you can enter into the Secret Place of the Most High?

Follow these instructions:

Psalm 91

1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 This I declare about the Lord:  He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.

3 For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.

4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day.

6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.

9 If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, 10 no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.

11 For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.

12 They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.

15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.

16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”

So there you have it, you now have your marching orders… so now go and do it!

Live long and prosper in Jesus Christ… and have a blessed life! 🙂


Skip Barland


This is an open forum where we look into and investigate the Rhema Mysteries of God's Word; and also other issues of importance for our day and time.

One thought on “Two paradoxes of Christian living… we must die to live; and we must learn to let go, to let God!!!”

  1. Awesome! This was so timely Skip!
    Just this last week I found out that our retired pastors wife, Peggy Joyce Ruth was on Sid Roth.
    She wrote a book few years back about Psalms 91, and now they have done so well that they give them away in other countries. She also has sent thousands to the troops in a camo battle version and the testimonies are beyond.
    Thinking about you and I still say you are the watchman on the wall blowing a shofar warning the people in these last few minutes.
    Please as always keep in your prayers!
    War has never ended on this end, and your word is the exactly what I need to do!

    Love you man!

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