1. Few will understand
2. You must abandon your own will and your own agenda.
3. Your intimate spiritual companions will be few.
4. Intense times of aloneness with God are required.
5. You will constantly on the witness stand.
6. You must go "outside the camp."
7. There will be times when your dignity is forfeited.
8. You must forego your rights.
9. You must accept that death is painful.
10. Because He was forsaken, you never will be.
These are what Beth Moore calls, Ten Characteristics of the Crucified Life.
I've joined a women's bible study at church and we're studying Beth Moore's, Living Beyond Yourself. It's simply amazing. Those are the best words I can use to describe it. We've only had one class (second session tomorrow) and one week of homework. Women in there said it would change our lives, we would be different, better, closer to God than we've ever felt. It's amazing to me that I can feel a change already. I do feel closer to Him. It's hard to explain but I do feel different. And the funny thing is, it has only been one week. How can it happen so quickly? I'm so excited about pursuing God more than ever. I want to be in His word everyday. I love it! I've never felt so good before.
The ten items that I have listed were a part of homework in week one. There are small paragraphs explaining what each item meant. 1,3,4 and 5 were my favorites. Below I've listed the ones I like and what the book says about each thing. Tomorrow I'll write about why these four stick out in my mind at this time in my life.
1. Few will understand..."If you seriously decide to live a life crucified to self and alive in Christ, you will discover that few will understand. More importantly, those who misunderstand will most likely be the ones you have to relate to the most. Galatians 2:20 describes a radical change that many find confrontational."
3. Your intimate spiritual companions will be few..."I am not suggesting or encouraging spiritual elitism; nothing could be further from God's will. I am, however, suggesting that there may be few who choose to walk this same road with you. Those with whom you can pray deeply and agonize spiritually are unique, indeed! Be thankful for them!"
4. Intense times of aloneness with God are required..."Not even your intimate spiritual companions are invited to attend some meetings with God! He reserves the right to meet with you One-on-one. The best preparation you will ever receive for your most agonizing trials will be when you are the only student attending class. In the midst of your deepest difficulties, have you ever looked around and thought, Where is everybody? Sometimes God reserves the right to withhold others and to pull you aside with Him so that you can experience what David in 1 Samuel 30:6; "David found strength in the Lord his God."
5. You will constantly be on the witness stand..."Matthew describes Jesus' trial. Peter challenges us to be prepared to give an answer. There will never be a time when we are not subject to the observation of others. We will be held under the strictest scrutiny of the non-believers and believers alike, continually called to the witness stand."