Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit (John 12:24 KJV)
Although there are many pieces to a fruitful Christian life, dying to self is the top-secret of all those parts. Sadly, it is an unwanted and unpopular secret—you might go months and even years without ever hearing it preached. Any pastor who preaches about dying to self regularly risks losing members or popularity, yet it is the Lord’s heart cry for His people. But first, what is dying to self?
Dying to self or mortifying the flesh is choosing to do what God wants and not what we want. Jesus explained it thoroughly to us by His own life in Luke 22:42 when He said, “ Father…not My will but Thine be done”. Whenever we consciously choose to do what we know God wants, though it is not what we want, we yield, surrender or die to ourselves. Brethren, this is the most difficult aspect of the Christian life; it could be easier to fast 40 days than to die to self. Paradoxically, surrendering to God is the one thing that will bring us the greatest joy, happiness, glory, and victories in life! But God has a backdoor to help us surrender.
No human being in their right minds will naturally surrender to God. It takes God to soften our hearts to surrender to Him( Phil. 2:13). If you forget everything you just read, please don’t forget this: none of us can yield our lives or surrender our wills to God except the Spirit of God quickens them. Dying to self is not a religious thing or some fleshly activity. As you spend time in God’s presence in prayer, your heart becomes soft. When you pour the water of His Word on your heart, it becomes softened. In fact, one of the reasons I take the devotional life so seriously is because it softens my heart and keeps me from being rebellious or stubborn towards the Lord.
As long as we are still doing what we want, we will never know the full glory of His presence and power, as well as the victories over this life that have been promised to us. He said it so well “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:25 KJV).
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Do you struggle giving up your will to do what God wants?
Apply the Word
The Lord once told me, “if you don’t die, something will die in your life .”He was talking to me about my marriage, telling me I had to die to myself for my marriage to live. How many of us might have lost anointings, relationships, jobs, flourishing Christian lives, etc., because we are still alive to self? In, fact, if our world still centers around what we always want and our way, sufferings and pains lie ahead of us. Lose your life in Christ, and you will find an abundance of life in Him!
Ask the Father to quicken your heart to accept the need to die to self.