Derek Prince - Losing Your Life Is Finding Your Life
This excerpt is from: How To Find Your Place
Now let’s turn to Ephesians 2:8-10, which was the passage that Ruth and I proclaimed. For by grace we have been saved through faith; and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God... I understand that to mean we didn’t get the faith, God gave us the faith. He gave us the faith to be saved. I know when I was confronted with the gospel I realized two things. I couldn’t understand the gospel and I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to understand and I wanted to believe. But God brought me to a place where when I did understand and I did believe I realized God had given me the understanding, God had given me the faith. I had nothing to boast about. It didn’t proceed out of myself, it was given me by God’s grace. And then it says: We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
That’s a wonderful Scripture. It doesn’t fully come out in the English translation. The word that’s translated workmanship in Greek is poeima. And it’s the word from which we get the English word poem. So, we’re God’s poem. We’re not just something He manufactured but we’re His creative masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus. And then what really blesses me when I meditate on this is when God wanted to show the universe what He could create, to display His creative ability to the whole universe —and all of it had been created by Him— just to prove what He could do He went to the scrap heap for His material. And that’s where He found you and me, on the scrap heap. Is that right? At least I know where I was. And God said: You want to see what I can do with scrap material? This is going to be the crown of all my creative genius. It’s the church of Jesus Christ, the bride of Jesus Christ. That’s what we are. We’re His poem, we’re His creative masterpiece. And we’re created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
That brings out the same truth as 1 Timothy 1:9. We don’t have to decide what we’re going to do. We don’t have to fashion a career for ourselves. We have to find out what are the good works which God prepared beforehand for us to walk in. You see, I’ve seen Christian take two different courses. Some of them, they’re saved but they’re personally ambitious. They want to make something of themselves in this world. So they go about the ordinary way, they get education and so on. They work hard at it and they become something. But it probably isn’t what God intended them to be. And then there are other Christians who abandon themselves to God. They give up their personal ambitions. They say, God, make me what you want. I don’t want to boast but in a certain sense when I married my first wife and became father to those eight girls, I renounced a very promising university career.
The leader of my college told me that within a few years I’d get such and such positions. And really, I was set for success, if you know the British educational system before World War II. If you had become a fellow at King’s College, Cambridge at the age of 24, you had it made. And a lot of people, some of my friends, thought I was just throwing my life away to give all that up and just take responsibility for eight girls. Well, if I’d gone back to Cambridge and got the position that maybe I could have got, I would have had to retire at age 65, if not sooner, with a very minimal pension. Here I am, nearly 74, I’m not even thinking of retiring. I’m traveling the world; I’m doing the thing that I enjoy most. I am seeing lives continually changed.
Why should I give that up for the sake of some little career at a university? See what I’m saying? You’ve all heard, I’m sure, of David Livingstone, the missionary who really opened up Africa, who is a world famous name. He became a doctor but then went to Africa. His brother also became a doctor. So when David went to Africa his brother thought he was doing totally the wrong thing. The brother said, I don’t want that kind of life. I want to make a name for myself. Today in the British encyclopedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, David’s brother has one line stating he’s the brother of David Livingstone. David has sixteen paragraphs!
You see, in the long run it always pays to trust God. There’ll always be a step of faith. You’ll always have to give up something. Jesus said you have to give up your own life but if you lose your life you’ll find the life that God has for you, which is exciting, it’s challenging. I don’t for a moment suggest that you’ll have exactly the same kind of life that I had but you will have a life that will be rich and exciting and challenging. And when you come to the end of your life you won’t look back on many years that have produced nothing of permanent value, you’ll have fruit that will endure for eternity. So, bear in mind you are God’s workmanship, created for something special that He has for you to do. And you will never find full satisfaction until you discover that special something.