When Curt Wolfe talks about his call to plant churches in unreached areas around the world, he begins by talking about removing distractions and purging them from his life. For Wolfe, this meant selling most of his material possessions and moving his family halfway around the globe to minister to the Arab world.
Wolfe challenges the rest of us, both by his words and actions, to “live dead” in order to present the gospel to the 2.8 billion people worldwide who have not yet heard it. These people are following the only path they know. They don’t know there’s another choice.
So, what does it mean to live dead?
Genesis 12 talks about Abram leaving his home without knowing where he was going. He was “obedient by faith” (Hebrews 11:8). All Abram knew was the next step. He also had the promise of God’s blessings (Genesis 12:2-3).
As we think about life in America today, so often we live in obedience only when the conditions are right. If we have time, if there’s enough money, if it upgrades our lives… If just the right conditions exist, we will walk in obedience.
Do you need to have the conditions perfect before moving out of your comfort zone? Does a change have to be an improvement or upgrade before you’ll make it? Do you need to understand everything perfectly and know every step to take before moving forward?
Two Types of Christians
Genesis 13 tells of Abram reaching a point where the land simply could not support all the people and livestock. Abram told his nephew Lot to choose where he wanted to live, and Abram would live in what was left. Lot chose the best land.
Following the story of Lot, we find devastation and corruption, while Abram’s story is one of the fulfillments of God’s blessing. How is this possible?
There exist two types of Christians, and the lives of Lot and Abram poignantly reflect these. Lot Christians go looking for their blessings. Many times, as with Lot, they never find them and end up being corrupted by the surrounding culture. Abram Christians know they are already blessed, and they allow God’s blessing to fully come to fruition in their lives through walking in obedience.
Are you a Lot Christian or an Abram Christian?
Catch & Release Christianity
A catch & release Christian is one who realizes that blessings come in order to allow others to be blessed. Blessed to be a blessing.
Consider a body of water with no outlet. The water and surrounding area become murky and stinky and something to be avoided. In order to be vibrant and fresh and living water, there needs to be an outlet. The water must flow in and then back out again.
Why are you blessed? Do your blessings sit in your house or garage waiting for you to have time for them? Or do your blessings flow into the lives of others as you reach out into a hurting world?
How to Live Dead
So back to the original question. What does the phrase “live dead” mean?
Living dead means to let go of excuses that keep us from obedience. It means realizing that while conditions may not appear to be right for us to move, they are right for God to move.
Dying to self means giving God everything and letting Him give back to you what you need to do His will. It means holding nothing back from God, regardless of the conditions surrounding you.
Living in the blessings that God has promised and choosing to be a blessing to others are also a part of choosing to live dead. God may not call you to become a missionary and movie to Egypt, but he does call you to move. Allowing His call to be alive and active in your life, to let the condition of your heart be one that is obedient by faith, is what it means to live dead.