In light of our ongoing study of transformation, this past Sunday we asked the question “how does the Holy Spirit partner with us in transformation of our character and our life?”
The answer: Through dying to self – the key to finishing your race well is to die to self today.
Die before you die.
Our entire walk with the Lord consists of thousands and thousands of choices we must make on a daily basis – choices to say “no” to myself and “yes” to Him. We are to decide to follow Him not just as Savior, but also Lord.
The principle is clear and found in John 12:24 –
“Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
It is a collection of little deaths to self that free us to live life God’s way.
For those who have asked God to use them, the School of Dying to Self is the course of study, and the classes in this school are called trials
Trials are not a hindrance to great faith; trials are the process of great faith.
Look at any life of great dedication and faith and you will find a testament of trials and a life dialog of dying to self.
Transformation begins with dying to self, and yet there are so many thoughts that consume us that let us know that we have not yet embraced dying to self.
3 common statements that let us know that we need to die to self:
- My problems are greater than others.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says –
“No temptation has overtaken you that is common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
2. This is persecution from others, not God’s perfection process at work in me.
Every event in life promises an opportunity to learn the most important lesson on this earth –
“I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” – Galatians 2:20
3. This might work for others but it hasn’t worked for me, and never will.
“ And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28
God causes every little death to self to create new life in those who love Him and are loved by Him.
Virtually all giants of the faith died to self and now live eternally:
- the art of Lillian Trotter
- the poetry of Amy Carmichael
- the writing of F.B. Meyers
We will never produce fruit that remains unless we embrace the little deaths that occur in the School of Dying to Self.
When our life is buried in the good soil of God’s plan, not our own self interest, real fruit is produced.
For when I die to self, He lives through me.
- What are some of “little decisions” that are in front of you that are going to require you to die to self?
- What does it look like to die to self in the different areas of your life (marriage, kids, church, etc.)