Some people say (and I strongly agree) we are not really ready to live unless we are ready to die.  Did you know losing our life is the heart of Christianity if we desire to become what God wants us to become?  In the Gospel of John we read,  “Verily, verily (a double imperative or there is no other way),I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25  He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.  (John 12:24-25)  Do you know how much faith we need?  Just enough to believe God too can raise us from the dead as He did Jesus. The condition for fruitfulness in God is not activity and good works, but separation and death.  And please notice losing comes first then we have “life eternal” which is not living forever, but knowing God.  Again John helps us here. Jesus tells us what “life eternal” is, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”  (John 17:3) We often get things mixed up like with the Kingdom of God, which is righteousness, peace, and joy (Romans 14:17)  not a place (it is within us) in the Holy Spirit and the Kingdom of Heaven which is an abode for God and us someday.  To be able to abide with God someday and enter the Kingdom of God (which we must do first) we must be “all in” totally sold out  to what God wants for our lives. We must totally abandon all (all of our dreams, wants, ambitions, intentions, etc.) to really walk with God in the way He wants and needs us to walk with Him.  It is strangely odd how I know this yet I resist this, but the more we are alive to what we desire and want for our lives the more troubles we will experience in allowing God to bring the things in His heart out into the light of our lives. The LORD ever seeks to change us as He desires to bring us into a cooperative relationship with Himself and into the outworking of His higher Kingdom purposes.  Before we can go with Him, we must first come to Him.  Therefore, the LORD waits for us to reach out toward Him and invite Him to come within and the place within is achieved  by a reckless abandonment where we see nothing of our self and can totally trust on God’s goodness and mercy.  Each day we should come into a set apart place to worship Jesus with a thankful heart acknowledge His goodness concerning us. We should come into the LORD’s presence in an attitude of submissive dependence as being a branch that is attached to the “true vine” as we give expression of audible worship and as we partake of communion and fellowship with Him.  As we faithfully do this, day after day, an impartation of our willingness towards obedience will slowly develop in us so we can live and walk ever increasingly closer to Jesus and ever the more give our life away so that we may be able to take on His life.  It is essential that each day we set apart time to be in His presence.  Our assembling and fellowshipping one with another should not be neglected, however, this should never become a substitute for our devotional times alone with the LORD.  The more we spend time with the LORD the more we will develop a reckless abandonment.  Total abandonment will throw caution to the wind to save our soul and flesh, we put our lives totally in the hands of God.  Funny how we do all we can do to save our self and God is trying His best to kill it.   Like Queen Esther when she said, ” . . . and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.”  (Esther 4:16) This is a statement of reckless abandonment and of true faith in God knowing He knows best for her and no matter what comes her way she will be content with whatsoever the LORD brings her way.  A special Christian friend  I was in the Navy with Val Castillo (PILA) and I were talking with my Bible Teacher Charles Haun at a Macaroni Grill (Charles favorite restaurant) one night. At the time Charles had cancer and was being treated for it. Val turned to Charles and asked, “have you prayed for God to heal you of this cancer?”  Now I know millions of people prayed that God would heal Charles of his cancer.  I prayed again and again to heal Charles of his cancer, but Charles looked at Val (in a way that only Charles could look) and said no, I am willing to endure whatsoever God brings my way. I shuddered in my shoes, what faith in God. Another example of reckless abandonment that is often over looked (because we call, not God calls the entire 11th Chapter of Hebrews the “Hall of Faith”) is the end of Hebrews.  We read,  “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34  Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35  Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea ,more over of bonds and imprisonment:37  They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38  (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”  (Hebrews 11:33-38)  I am not sure if these verses are from past experience or will be what Christians in the future have to endure.  At any rate it will take total faith in God and a total abandonment to God’s mercies and care for someone  to overcome in this time.  So also today there are those who are searching for something more, who likewise are being called apart to be alone with the LORD in order to receive from Him. Therefore it is very important that we respond when the LORD knocks on the door of our heart. Each one of us should come to the place in which we also can make this statement, “I am the voice of one who is crying in the wilderness of our day.”  There is an urgent need for this voice to cry out in the midst of the spiritual confusion, frustrations, and accelerating dangers in our day for us to totally abandon ourselves to God, but today there is a misplaced emphasis on methodology, which instead, should be placed upon divine revelation, guidance, and enabling grace.  Therefore, the need is not on more flesh or more methodology, but rather a turning aside to stand in the presence of the LORD to be prepared to become the voice of one crying in the wilderness of our day.  Toward the end of his life  (I believe it was) A. W. Tozer was asked what he would do if he had his life to live over again.  He said in response,  he had spent seven years in preparation for forty-five years of ministry. Instead he would spend forty-five years in preparation for seven years of ministry.  The LORD is seeking to bring us to the end of our abilities so we can tap into His ability.  This requires that we recognize His presence and turn aside to stand before Him.  Only then will we be enabled to become the expression of His voice and heart to a lost and dying world. Today we sing songs about being free, freedom in God is the drive, the drum beat for personal fulfillment in Him, looking for their destiny, but sadly most Christians  never come to that place of freedom because it is only found in the restrictions and limitations of God.  As the horse must endure restrictions of the bridle and limitations of the saddle to be useful we must endure God’s limitations and restrictions if not we will have no able to minister the life of God. My friend it is our total abandonment to God of all of our earthly and heavenly resources will enable us to be free enough to fall into the ground and die so that we can “bring forth much fruit” a very painful death indeed.