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Strategic Withdrawal

March 17, 2020

“What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” Luke 9:25

You can lose your soul, even while pursuing something good! How can we make sure this doesn’t happen to us? By strategic withdrawal from the world.

Some people think we should exercise total withdrawal from sports and business, and pursue a life of solitude. But the Bible never calls us to this kind of monastic withdrawal from the world.

We’re to pursue our lives in the world, enjoying every good gift from God. But how do you make sure you don’t drown yourself in a sea of activity or pleasure?

1. Fasting—voluntarily abstain from something good to strengthen your soul. It could be missing a meal, spending time alone, or going on a mission trip instead of vacation. There are no rules, but if you do not practice some kind of strategic withdrawal, you will lose your soul.

What are the kids not going to do? What are the things mom could do, but chooses not to, for the good of her soul? What about dad? When you go to a party, a movie, and out to dinner—all in the same evening—you learn to skim through these pleasures so lightly that you lose the capacity to savor any of them deeply.

2. Sabbath—take a day of rest from gaining the world. Students need one day when they’re not studying. Athletes need one day when they’re not training. Workers need one day when they’re not working. The culture will not help you. It is set 24/7 on gaining the world, and that’s the surest way to lose your soul.

Choose one strategic withdrawal from the world this month. Why did you choose this?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the Senior Pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the President and Teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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