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Monday, May 12, 2008

What Does It Mean To Die to Yourself?

Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he (Jesus) said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? Mark 8:34-37


Over ten years ago, I asked my husband to pray over me that I would die to myself. What a process that has been but what a glorious journey. At the time I saw too much of “me” in everything I did, and I wanted to see Christ in all I did. I have come a long way, but there is still much dying to self to do.

If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, could it be that you are trying to hold onto your old life while you put on your new life in Christ? That will never work. I can tell you from personal experience.

Let me give you a visual: I once heard a couple interviewed on Oprah. It was a second marriage for the husband and wife, and the wife raved about what a wonderful husband he was and that she never knew a man like this existed. Oprah asked the husband what he did to make his wife so happy and he said, “I died to myself.” Oprah did not understand what he meant, and questioned something to the effect of: You died? How could you die, you’re still here? The husband tried to explain, but Oprah didn’t get it. But I immediately knew what he was talking about. This was a Christian couple, who understood Mark 8:34-37. This is such an important concept that it is repeated in Matthew 16:24-26 (which Beth Moore spoke on at the Colorado Springs Living Proof) and Luke 9:23-25.


I would love to hear your comments on what it means to you to die to yourself and live in Christ.

2 comments:

Chris Hurley said...

Thank you so much, this has been a blessing to me!!!! Feel free to e-mail me at chris@hurleys.net

I'd love to hear from you

Love

Chris

HisBethany said...

To die to yourself is to go to the cross. We each have to be crucified with Christ and resurrected in order to live for Him. If we continue to live "for ourselves, according to our own wishes & desires", then Christ cannot live in us. It means to truly repent of every sin we've ever committed (you need to spend time with Him and have Him reveal each sin to you and literally repent for each one) and let God renew our hearts, remove all evil/wickedness and fill us with His Holy Fire (the Holy Spirit). Dying to yourself means giving Christ full reign of ourselves. We no longer live for what we want, but we live for Christ. In order to die to self, we need to become holy. Our hearts must be thoroughly searched and cleansed for the Holy Spirit to abide in us. We need daily cleansing through significant Bible study and prayer (not just 5 minutes a day, but at least 1/2 hr - 45 min.). It involves discovering who we are in Christ and claiming the authority that is ours through that relationship with Him. We need to then pinpoint everything within us that causes our "selves" to resurface, ask forgiveness for that sin, decide what specific things we will do to combat it and then claim victory over that sin through scripture that promises that victory. Dying to self is a daily, ongoing endeavor that must be diligently sought with the power of the Spirit within us. Then we can really know our Savior in the most intimate way possible, with joy beyond measure!
My prayers of encouragement to all who decide to humble themselves for Christ. It is a major part of true Christianity and fighting the good fight! May the Lord Jesus be with you and strengthen you as you earnestly seek Him.