Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done (Luke 22:42, KJV)
Jesus taught that the way to life is death. A mandatory requirement for a living and vibrant Christian life is dying to self. We have heard it referred to in many ways “ denying yourself”, “dying to self”, “killing the old man”, “surrendering to God” ,etc. Sadly enough, this has often been portrayed in a wrong manner, that has rather frightened people rather than encourage them to seek to live a completely surrendered life to Christ.
Jesus shows us a practical example of what it means to die to self in the verse above. He came to die, but when the moment of death came, His humanity rejected the idea. As a Man, He had the same weak human nature we have except without sin. No human being will face death with joy. He did not want to die just like every other human being. However, He knew the will of the Father who was living in Him as the Holy Spirit just as He lives in us today. It was a struggle between God’s will and the will of a human being.
Surrender simply means giving up what we would want to do and following what God wants, knowing He is wiser. Dying to self is not self-hate. It is recognizing that our current human condition is plagued with weakness, and there are many things it will want things that are against God’s will. Dying to self means knowing His will and willingly deciding to do what He wants. It might sometimes hurt, but it will prove itself to be the best choice. Following our own will against God is a sure course to suffering. Ask Adam and Eve, and they will give you a lengthy lecture!
Dying to self is your key to enjoying eternal life.
Was Jesus sinning when His human nature was no “so excited about doing what God wanted Him to do?” was this struggle between God and “human nature” or flesh unique to Jesus?
APPLY THE WORD
The Lord once told me that if I do not die, many things will die in my life. He was speaking to me specifically about my wife. He meant if I do not die, I will kill my relationship with her because I will always demand my way. The same applies to you. Good things will die in your life if you do not die! The way to life is dying to self and allowing God’s will to run in your life.
Ask the Spirit to help you surrender completely to Him, even in those moments when it hurts to do so.