The name of this magazine defines its focus: we are to be intercessors for the world, dying that others might come to a knowledge of who they are. This may sound grandiose, or like some fantastic plot in a book. But Paul is perfectly clear on this point: "For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you." Whatever this may mean to us individually, most of us did not realize at the beginning of our Christian walk that this is what we were signing on for. As several articles in this and other issues indicate, most of us come to salvation and later to a knowledge of who we are out of desperation: life is not working, we are caught in sin, our relationships with others are riddled with dishonesty and deceit. We are unable to be the people God means us to be. When we finally take hold of the truth that, as Norman says, it is not a matter of becoming something but of containing someone, the light begins to shine into the darkness of our lives. We learn how to apply the truth of who we are to our difficulties, to face our past and confess the Satan misuse we were in, to discern between soul and spirit, to navigate temptation successfully. This is the young man stage John talks about. We feel we have gotten our lives back.
But God warns us not to rest at this oasis. "Whoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it, and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it." What does this mean? It means that the real business of life is those out in the desert dying of thirst. We are not put here for our success, our fulfillment but to die to what we want that others might live. Everything we have been through and all we have faced is but a means to identify with those still deceived by Satan. We take their place, in a sense, offering our bodies as a living sacrifice for the Holy Spirit, the only Intercessor, to prevail and suffer through, for only out of death can life come. What else can Paul mean when he desires "the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death?"
So, like Paul, this one thing we do, "forgetting those things which are behind…we press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God." The prize will mean cost to us, but gain to others, and glory to God. This is what we signed on for.