Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. (Joh 12:24-25)
When Jesus spoke the above passage of scripture, He was speaking of His own death. However, Jesus also went on and illustrated that we are to die in a similar manner as He did. Jesus spoke of His physical death, but then He spoke to them of their fleshly death to self.
If you were to read the entire passage in its context, you will see that Jesus referred to this process as "the Lord glorifying the Son." Interesting that the death of Jesus is linked to His glorification and power. It was not until His flesh (the "seed") died in the ground, that it brought forth "fruit."
Notice that Jesus said that we are to "fall into" the ground, and not "to" or "onto" the ground. There is a big difference between the two. Falling "to" or "onto" the ground is our "self-surviving" methods that we use to get around the true "falling into" the ground process. Therefore the falling and germination of one's self is a process that cannot be ignored if one wants the deep things of God.
When we are born into the Kingdom of God, we experience two cycles of dying. The first being our initial born again experience of salvation as stated in Acts 2:38, and our maturing process of denying our fleshly ways and desires. We are going to concentrate on our second dying phase of life, which does not happen overnight, but is a process.
THE SURVIVING CORN OF WHEAT
When we are born into the Kingdom of God, we experience the closeness and fellowship of God's. We feel his love and his presence on a daily basis. We have begun a new life and enjoy the ecstatic highs that we feel. We experience the great "sunlight" of God and flourish in the winds of God's spirit.
And as time goes on, the fledgling wheat (soul) is tossed and blown in the wind and rain. The sunlight seems to disappear from time to time. Strong winds test the small roots of that golden wheat. As the winds and storms rage around, the wheat begins to take root and ground itself in the ground trying to survive the unknown winds of time. It tries to dig deeper and deeper for self-survival.
We too, are like that wheat tossed in the wind. It is totally natural to try and survive; it is even good for us because it makes us strong. But as the wheat, in all its strength, begins to get more mature, it senses that it must cast it's seed into the ground and germinate. It feels that there is a time coming when it must release all its resources and give in to the cycle of death. It is frightening to that little seed to even think about it. And it begins to struggle more and more to stay alive. It looks for ways to survive and get around the process of dying to self.
HELP FROM GOD
As the cycle of death begins to dawn on that little seed, it begins to feel the pressure of the season. It realizes it is losing that battle to survive. It then reaches a critical point in its life when it must decide what it wants to do. It has to choose between falling "onto" the ground or "into" the ground.
As the seed ponders the process of death, it realizes that if it wants to bear fruit someday, then it will have to choose to fall "into" the ground and finally die. The seed goes ahead and decides that it wants to die. But it realized that there is another problem.... it can't die on its own, it needs help.
The God of all the earth has created the perfect method for this dying process to take place. He knows what the person needs to bring that person to that place of dying to self.
THE SEPARATION PROCESS
As a person comes to that dying point in their life, they must have that love for God that allows Him to do whatever he needs to live spiritually. The process is painful and trying as God allows some circumstances arise that forces the separation of the seed from the stock. Whatever method God uses will totally go against their desires, nature and self-surviving instinct.
The seed in all its desire to abide on the stock is ready to deny self. The biggest storm the seed has ever seen blows across that seeds life. It painfully separates the seed from the stock and begins it's descent toward the ground being lovingly guided by the hands of Him who made the storm.
As the seed reaches the point of contact of the ground, it grimaces in pain as the seed is thrust deep into the cold dark ground. It painfully cries because of the pain it has just experienced. And as the seed lays in the cold dark ground, it comes to its senses and realizes that it is all alone... well not quite!
THE ALONE AND COLD PLACE
"Where am I," said the seed as it looks around and sees nothing but darkness. It senses such a cold and lonely feeling. Everything it has ever desired out of life has been taken away. It feels such an empty void in its life as it lays there doing nothing.
As time passes by, it begins to feel moisture from all around which makes the seed cry. It cannot see where the moisture is coming from but it feels the effect on the outer shell of his person. The pressure of the moistened soil begins to wear out that hardened outer shell of the seed. The trials may continue for a while as the corn of wheat must be covered by soil to impart enough moisture to germinate the life it contains.
THE GERMINATION OF A SEED
In many cases during our stay in the cold dark ground, we must be covered by the circumstances and situations of life to soften the shell of self. It is not an immediate change, but takes time for the moisture to penetrate our fleshly thinking. The seed can do nothing but wait in the darkness for the process of germination to take place.
As the seed waits, it notices that it's shell is becoming weaker and weaker. The trials, pain and all the tears are softening that old shell. That old shell has endured many things; it has forged its own way when it used to blow in the wind. But now it's shell is breaking up from all the tears of moisture.
Alas, the day finally comes. The shell of self begins to push out of the way. Its shell stretches and stretches until it finally splits open. That little seed of God's will begins to protrude out of the shell of that little seed as the shell gives way to God's desires.
REAL GROWTH BEGINS ANEW
That little seed which seemed to be so self-sufficient in its younger days has taken on a new life of growth. You can see on the ground a little sprout spring up out of the ground. It sticks its head into the fresh air and sees everything anew. It seems it has begun a new life. It grows and grows, but instead of being a regular stock, it's desire is to be a plant that only God wants it to be.
With its sheaves flowing in the air, you can now see fruit (wheat) appearing that was not possible in the old days of self-sufficiency. It has learned to grow in God's timing. It is now a person that bears fruit and glorifies the Lord in perfect praise.
As one looks back at "what seems to be" the dreadful process of death to self, it seems to only lead to the end of the promises of God. But in reality it is the beginning Of God. It has been said, that "When you reach the end of yourself, then you have found the beginning of God."
When Jesus taught us to "lose" our life, he was handing us the most important key to spiritual power. Jesus being our perfect example, showed us how to gain glorification (victory), power, fruit and blessings in this life by the way of dying to self.
Is dying to oneself easy? Absolutely not! It is a painful process that takes time to get through. While we may want to rush through the process, it can only be done through separating oneself from all activity to allow God to do this to us. We must be willing for God to put us into that cold, dark ground all alone for a time period.
When we have finished this process of dying to one-self, it does not mean that we will never face anymore storms, or that we will never have to crucify our flesh again. But when we have surrendered to God, then and only then can He help us grow as He directs our paths where ever He desires.
When a "corn of wheat" truly dies, it will bring forth fruit. And we all want to have victory and bear fruit! So God's method of glory is to "fall into" the ground.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)