Daily Devotional for Sunday November 30, 2008
Dying To Self
(1 Corinthians 15:31; Romans 8:4-13; Galatians 5:16; Galatians 2:20)
Dying to self daily is what Paul spoke of so often. It is how we walk in the "Spirit" and not in the "flesh" as we are instructed in Romans Chapter 8 and Galatians Chapter 5. The whole issue of dying to self daily is the absolute key to living a victorious life in Christ. It literally means that you have to die to self DAILY! This is why so many people who are saved, love the Lord, live beneath their blessings and in constant turmoil. This is how people who know Christ as their Savior end up committing adultery, cheat people, lie, get in bondage to drugs, alcohol, food, sex, gambling, shopping, greed, and anything else people become enslaved to. They don't die to self each day and end up walking in the "flesh" and NOT the "Spirit."
People wonder all the time how a pastor, a deacon, an elder, someone in the leadership of God's church could leave their wife and run off with another woman. People wonder all the time how a Sunday School teacher who loves the Lord could neglect her children and family because of alcohol. Maybe you are wondering how you could be raising your hands to Jesus, speaking in tongues, and being used by God to touch lives one day, and sinning against God the next. The answer is when you fail to die to self each day, you are walking in the "flesh," not the "Spirit."
The question that needs to be addressed today is HOW does a person "die to self?" The first step is an action, something that you must do. Dying to self is a conscious choice that you must make, one nobody can make for you. It is the act of surrendering your life completely to Christ. The reason God's Word talks about dying to self DAILY is because it is something that we must do each and every day. Our life with Christ is not for an hour or two on Sunday, but literally 24/7. It is critical to make the choice to die to self each and every day.
Since this is something you must do each day, I do it and counsel others to do it the moment you wake up in the morning. As I first open my eyes to a new day, before I do anything I take a moment and thank God for a day that was not promised to me and make the conscious choice to completely surrender my life to Him that day. I literally tell God to take my life and use it for His glory that day, to use me as an instrument of blessing. When we get saved, we not only ask Christ into our heart and life by faith, but we give our very lives to Him. In dying to self each day, we are reaffirming that our life doesn't belong to us any longer, it is His.
At the moment we are born again, we receive the promise of the "Comforter," or the Holy Spirit. Each Believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit to empower them and guide them throughout their life. It is literally the power of Almighty God living within each person who has given their heart and life to Christ by faith. As you surrender your life afresh to Christ at the start of each day, you are allowing your life to be controlled by the Holy Sprit and not by your flesh. It is no longer you but God that is in complete control of your life. You have traded in your thoughts and desires for God's thoughts and desires. It is not YOU that is living, it is Christ living in you as Paul wrote in Galatians 2:20.
This whole process takes only a few minutes of time alone with the Lord, but it is the most important few minutes of your day. When you don't go through this process each and every morning, you wake up, start going through your day, and not only does it feel like the day is weighing you down, you don't have that confidence. The reality is, the day IS weighing you down because you are operating in your strength and not the Lord's, and the lack of confidence comes from the fact you are in control of your life and not Christ.
Sadly, some people go days, even weeks without really dying to self, and it usually takes the consequences of their poor choices during that time to bring them back to the Lord. Like I say often, your way doesn't work, God's way works! Let me give you some advice out of my love for you. You can never run your life better than God can. The sooner you realize that, the more peace, joy, and abundance you will know during this journey through life.
There is probably no more critical a message I will ever share with you in living a victorious life in Christ than the one today. All of the benefits in God's Word exist and are available to those who believe, but there is a price to pay and that price is our very life surrendered, yielded to the Lord. It is a choice, an act, that nobody can force you to commit. The important thing for you to hear today is that it is not something you do just once and forget about. It is something that you must do DAILY! EVERY DAY! WITHOUT FAIL! Each morning when you wake up, you have to make the conscious choice to die to self, to surrender your life to Christ, and walk in the "Spirit" instead of the "flesh."
I love you and care about you so much. The difference between a person who knows the Lord as their Savior living a defeated life and a victorious life, lies in what I am sharing with you today. Please, save your money. You don't need to waste it listening to Tony Robbins or the motivational speakers of the world lie to you that you can do it on your own, and you don't need to spend it on books and tapes from preachers who preach a feel good Gospel but forget to tell you about the sacrifice involved. The key to living a victorious life in Christ lies in you waking up each morning and making the conscious choice to die to self and allow Christ to control your life.
The fact is, the Bible says that if you have asked Christ into you heart and life by faith, it is no longer your life, that it belongs to Him. The Word says we have been "bought with a price." So in essence, each day you are only giving the Lord what already belongs to Him anyway. Remember my message in the past on what really happens when we get saved? We are literally giving our life to Christ. It is no longer ours, but is now His. The reality is, each morning when we wake up, we have to make the choice to die to self so that Christ can live within us during that day. If we don't do this each and every day when we wake up, we will soon find ourselves walking in the "flesh" and not the "Spirit."
I will be praying for you today. Praying that you will sit down and read this message over and over. This is the meat and potatoes of the Word. This is where the rubber meets the road in regard to our Christian walk. This is the part that nobody really wants to talk about since we love the benefits of being saved, but we really don't want to think about the price that Jesus paid or the sacrifice we have to make each day. You MUST think about it since it is the difference between you living a defeated life and living a victorious life. To live that victorious life in Christ, to walk in His victory, you have to die to self each day so that you are walking in the "Sprit" and not the "flesh" so that it is Christ, not you that lives.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller