Proclaim. Mobilize. Equip.
Call 866-865-6253

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.



Explore this topic further

Ask for Something Bigger

“Lord, let me recover my sight.” Luke 18:41 The story of Bartimaeus shows how God opens the door of hope for broken lives. Notice the pattern—believe, ask, receive: 1) Bartimaeus believes in Jesus, 2) his faith leads him to a specific kind of asking, and 3) as a result, he receives a wonderful...

Read Post

Buckshot Prayer

“What do you want me to do for you?” Luke 18:41 Bartimaeus was sitting at the side of the road, shouting out to Jesus. What did he want? Was he looking for sympathy? Did he want Jesus to toss him a few coins? Bartimaeus starts out vaguely: “Jesus, Son of...

Read Post
For your gift of any amount

Faith That Lasts

New from Pastor Colin Smith

Get Unlocking the Bible's Weekly Email

"This Week at Unlocking the Bible" features new articles, radio programs, devotionals, and ministry updates

We will never sell or misuse your information.

Share Your Story and Prayer Requests

If you have a testimony or story you would like to share or if you have a prayer request, please use the form below. If you would like someone from our staff to call you, please include your phone number.

We will never sell or misuse your information.

Learn more
about special resources to help you during this time of unexpected crisis.

Get Unlocking the Bible’s Weekly Email

“This Week at Unlocking the Bible” features new articles, radio programs, devotionals, and ministry updates

We will never sell or misuse your information.