When life becomes no longer about me.
I’ve seen the extravagant beauty of dying to self. Many times in my life, God would show me what is possible when He is at the center of my existence. I’ve become certain of the fact that living a life of self-denial was not just my calling but life’s highest privilege. Yet, in my journey of picking up my cross and understanding the very essence of Christ’s call to us, I’ve soon realized that I need to wrestle powerfully against myself. It’s not just a fight against the forces of darkness but against my very self. My human tendency is to protect my own rights and desires and I often fail to realize that I am to actually deny myself, not to live for myself but my flesh has a way of nagging me on a daily basis. It tries to control my feelings, my thoughts, and even my actions. If I do not become aware of its persistent pull at my heart and mind, I can easily give in to its whims. Can you relate to this? We need to be aware of the fact that we are to submit ourselves to the Spirit of God on a moment by moment basis if we are to not fall into the trap of our ego. The voice of the flesh is convincing and forceful and it shamelessly tries to take control of every aspect of our lives. It is not enough to just become aware of the fact that we are to die to ourselves, we must also partner with God in learning from Him and taking on His yoke which is easy and light. This is a life of humility, joy, patience, gentleness, and love. One evening as I slowly slipped into a church worship group meeting that gathered in order to prepare for a larger church event, I couldn’t help but wonder at the fact that instead of being able to cooperate and plan together, the people that were there spent most of their time disagreeing with one another and voicing out their objections. As I looked at someone who should have taken the role of a leader among those present, I saw that this very person failed to portray the yoke of Christ. Isn’t it so tragic that we are so caught up in serving without really understanding what it really means to live the life of a servant, like Christ lived? I found myself inwardly praying to God to help me to truly embrace and live out His character on this earth. My prayer was quickly answered but not in a way that I would have chosen. It came in the form of humiliation from someone who has been spreading lies and rumors about me and my husband for a few years now and continues to do so to this day. As I tried to make sense of the pain that was weighing me down, I realized yet again that it is not about me. I could have so easily continued to pity myself but a gentle voice whispered slowly, “Let go, for my purpose is sure even in this.” There is a strength and a confidence that never fails but that only comes through dying to ourself and allowing Christ to take control of us. A practical way to make life no longer about you but solely about God is by putting Him first into your day. You can do this by making prayer the first thing you do. Even if this means waking up while it is still dark because that’s what Jesus Himself did. Then continue to stay connected with Him in prayer throughout your day no matter what you are doing. It is also highly important to turn to His Word again and again during the day. It is impossible to live a life that is no longer about you in your own strength but it is more than possible through Christ! Living for yourself means limitation, sorrow, and death but living for and through Him means life, peace, and true fulfillment. Choose Christ.