Live Dead

When missionary 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 means 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 the phrase “live dead” mean?

Conditional Obedience

Genesis 12 tells 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. So, 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 through, we find devastation and corruption, while Abram’s story is one of the fulfillment 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. And 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 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?

So back to the original question. What does the phrase “live dead” mean?

To “live 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 become 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.” What must you do in your life to “live dead”?

Want to know more about Missionary Curt Wolfe & his family? Check out their personal blog as well as their plan for developing church planting teams in 33 gateway cities in the Middle East.

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14 Replies to “Live Dead”

  1. Kari, I spent too much of my life being afraid to -"give God everything and let Him give back to you what you need to do His will." I had seen enough and read enough to know that many of God's followers suffer greatly. I only wanted good from Him. So, I'm thinking I was a pretty good "Lot Christian." So thankful that God wanted more for me. He allowed me to suffer to see that He is greater than my problems and sufficient for my every need. This is a much better place to live . . . free of fear and watching Him do amazing things. Thanks for this! Blessings!!

    1. You mention fear, and another quote from this missionary came to mind. He said, "We can't let fear distract us. We must instead be attentive to the absence of the gospel." Our perspective and focus are everything, aren't they? Thanks!

  2. I think we are all called into the ministry just some of us do not get our income from our participation in the ministry. I struggle to give it all up for the things I know I should. I do want to be like Abraham and have that faith that allows you to not know where the provisions are coming from but to just know that God has got it covered. Just like when he told his servants that he and Isaac “we will go worship and we will come back” when he was told to sacrifice Isaac. I always think Wow when Isaac said we and we knowing full well when he was told to do.

    1. I think the definition of a "call into the ministry" sometimes gets put into a box. There are numerous ways to minister. We either go, or we send. But even within that, there are many ways to go and many ways to send. I love the story of Abraham and to see how his faith grew over his lifetime. Great example for us to follow!

      1. I agree with you both. My husband is ordained as a pastor, but has always told our congregations that we are all ministers . . . he just makes his living at it. The other good thing about that attitude is our church members have always considered us one of them. It's a blessing as we share our struggles and encourage each other.

        1. We so need to live our lives in fellowship and not as islands. Sharing our struggles is so important, and I'm not talking about day-to-day annoyances. We need to share the really though stuff if we hope to survive with our witness in tact. Encouragement is so important too, and it is something I struggle with doing and receiving. Great points Deb!

          1. Thanks Deb, You are right Kari we rarely let someone know the deep dark struggles we have. It can be valuable to do so. I think it takes a lot of courage to open up and let someone see the ugly stuff.

          2. This courage is really a step of faith and similar to the power of forgiveness. Learning to trust God enough for us to open up and really work through tough stuff is a huge leap. That doesn't mean we share everything because some things should be kept between just you and God. But because our struggles are for the body and not meant just for us, we need to consider when bearing this "ugly stuff" truly benefits the body. This type of sharing is where I have personally found the most powerful type of healing, growth and connection.

  3. "Lot Christians go looking for their blessings. And 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."

    I like that phrasing. We take a totally different path, both practically and spiritually, when we realize that we already are justified and loved and accepted.

  4. I'm thinking of Romans 12:1 – make yourself a living sacrifice. The interesting thing is that the more I give up for God, the more I receive from Him – not in material blessings – although sometimes that's the case – but more often in the fruit of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, etc. There is nothing better on earth than the fruit of the Spirit and the joy of a at-peace walk with God. He's always worth the sacrifice – but sometimes it's such a fight to get to that point of sacrifice.

    1. Dying to self definitely is a struggle and fight. I am so thankful for the idea of progressive sanctification instead of thinking I should just be that way. Plus, He loves and accepts us just the way we are. So much freedom in Him!

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