Have you ever heard the term a living martyr? I have heard of a martyr, dying for his faith, but the term a living martyr is like an oxymoron.
As I was reading Romans 12:1,2, an idea came to me like a light bulb turning on. "I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies, as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and the perfect will of God."
The expression a living martyr was beginning to make sense. As I surrendered more and more of my life to the Lord, I was physically alive, but spiritually dying daily to this world.
The Holy Spirit continued to open my eyes with Luke 9:23. "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it."
The expression living martyr has helped me to understand the process of taking up my cross and following Jesus--death to my old man of sin, but alive to Christ in me.
I cannot serve two Kingdoms. I will love one and hate the other. Both Kingdoms are eternal. One is eternal separation from God and the other eternal life.There is only one Kingdom that has eternal life--the Kingdom of God. His Kingdom is worth forsaking this world and living only unto Him. He desires our whole heart.
"I have been crucified in Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Gal.2:20
This doesn't mean that the Lord wants us out of the world, but only out of the world's system, its mind-set, morals and unrighteousness. When Jesus walked on the earth, He said, "The god (ruler) of this world is coming but he has nothing in Me." John 14-30
As we are transformed more and more into His image, we too will not desire the things of this world. Our hearts will change to be more like His. We will be in the world, but not of it. We will testify of His resurrection life in us. Jesus will be uplifted up and draw all men unto Him.