This verse: “Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world,” came to mind as I was pondering things around in my head,because I sure wasn’t sleeping. Then the Lord spoke to my heart: “Sometimes it is not so much the “world” (outside influences) as it is our own desires that are causing conflict”. Maybe it is more like a question:
“ Is He that is in us greater than the “me” that is in us’?
Hmmmm…..wow. Oh my. What a thought….
This got me to thinking about Christ’s death and how Paul said “For I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, not I but Christ in me.”
Dying to self isn’t pretty – Jesus dying on the cross wasn’t pretty either – it was painful, messy and humiliating…torturous and degrading. Here was a perfect, sinless man who endured the shame of the cruelest of punishments for nothing he had done wrong – no mistakes, no sin. He laid his life down to honor His Father in obedience. That’s a big statement there…and it speaks volumes. Jesus overcame this world by laying down His life through obedience to the Heavenly Father – when, in doing so – the Father raised Him up giving Him victory over death and the grave.
So why should we think our death to self should be any less? If we follow Jesus in obedience, honoring our Heavenly Father…. our deaths to self can be humiliating, painful and messy because we have not let go of our own selfish desires. Accepting Christ is the beginning of a lifetime of changing processes. It’s through this process of changing, learning, understanding, growing, accepting – we begin to understand what is required of us – to rid ourselves of these “things.” – Jealousy, pride, selfishness, greed, fear, worry, anger, bitterness, control, power, are just a few things which require laying down.
These “things” (self) keep us from walking in the fullness of who He is – like minded, single of purpose– and will keep us from accomplishing our full potential in Christ Jesus.
So how can we overcome our own self, the inner man? So glad you asked…
Humility…renewing our mind with God’s word, spending time in His presence. Paul stated, ” I die daily” – it is a process, a daily process. God will show you, let you experience it, go through it – being refined as gold is refined by fire. Also when your desire to love the Lord God is more powerful than self to have it’s own way, transformation takes place, being processed by fire, coming out shining like gold, we become like Christ.
Yes, I would say death of self isn’t pretty – it’s humiliating, painful and messy…because we don’t want to let go. I personally know this, it has been my experience. We must submit ourselves in obedience, replacing our desires for those of Christ in order to become more like Him.
But unless it takes place we will never be able to move forward to accomplish that which God has ordained in our lives, as well as in those of others around us….
As our Pastor, Brent Anderson, says “Someone waits on the other side of our obedience”
So the question for us: “ Is He that is in us greater than the “me” that is in us’?
© Simply Consider This, 2013.