Further to a long discussion on the topic, my buddy Vinay, sent me this by email ... I'm sure it will bless all my readers!
And He died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died and was raised for them. – 2Cor5:15
The life of the surrendered Christian is not about the things of this world. Though in the world, we are not of the world. The purpose of God in an individual’s life is far deeper than the temporal issues of family, job, materialistic possessions, etc. The purpose of God is far deeper than one’s own comfort. The purpose of God is something far deeper than what we normally think or imagine to be.
When we live for Him, our priorities change and we look at things in the light of eternity. We make our decisions in the light of His will. We cease to be self centred. We then relate to Paul’s words.
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth... for your life is hidden with Christ. – Col 3:2
This is a level of surrender all Christians are called to live out.
The first principle of foundation in the Ignatian spirituality talks about our purpose and why God made us.
- The human person is created to praise, reverence, and serve God Our Lord, and by doing so, to save his or her soul.
- All other things on the face of the earth are created for human beings in order to help them pursue the end for which they are created.
- It follows from this that one must use other created things, in so far as they help towards one's end, and free oneself from them, in so far as they are obstacles to one's end.
- To do this, we need to make ourselves indifferent to all created things, provided the matter is subject to our free choice and there is no other prohibition.
- Thus, as far as we are concerned, we should not want health more than illness, wealth more than poverty, fame more than disgrace, a long life more than a short one, and similarly for all the rest, but we should desire and choose only what helps us more towards the end for which we are created.
Paul refers to people heading for destruction as those who set their minds on earthly things; people who live as enemies of the cross of Christ. This is because we are in a very temporal state on this earth and our citizenship (indicating a sense of permanent belonging) is in heaven. - Ref. Phil 3:19-20.
“Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” – Matt 5:3
The saying goes like this – ‘Our richness is in proportion to the number of things we can do without’. The richer you are, the poorer you are in Spirit. This calls for detachment to the things the world has to offer and abandonment to God alone. Our total dependency to God makes us understand that His priorities may not be the same as ours.
Detachment does not mean ‘without’. It just means that in this mental state, all the world has to offer becomes meaningless and futile if the divine purpose outlined above is not lived out. As mentioned above - we need to make ourselves indifferent to all created things & we should desire and choose only what helps us more towards the end for which we are created.
Why Jesus says that “it will be hard (not impossible) for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 9:23) is not because of the riches but because of the likely attachment to the riches and the high probability of misuse of the riches against the will of God. The rich person is all the more called for a ‘dead to self’ attitude and an attitude which is indifferent to his possessions. Jesus also says, “...God knows your hearts; for what is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God”. – Luke 16:15
While the above outlines the universal purpose of God for all, each person also has a unique purpose which God wants to fulfil. This is personally revealed through our individual relationship with Him and through our desire to seek Him in prayer.
Other biblical verses for reference:
Do not love the world or the things of the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world.... The world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever. – 1Jn 2:15-17
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Rom 12:2
The prayer of Jesus for His disciples. “They do not belong to the world, just as i do not belong to the world”. – Jn 17:16
Some more words of Jesus:
“You did not choose me but I chose you, and i appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last...” - John 15:16
“My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it”. – Luke 8:21
“...but strive first for the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”. – Matt 6:33
“Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it”. – Matt 10:39
We are called to seek God’s will in our lives in each & every situation and set our priorities in light of eternal truth. Until this happens, we are only fooling ourselves in calling ourselves ‘disciples’ and the aspect of true surrender ceases to exist.