by GF Herrin
If you’re going to do anything for God’s kingdom you will soon realize that the results and even the strength to do it will come from God. So, to be able to accomplish the things of God you need to decrease in your own human strength and walk in the power that of God. Your inner human strength must decrease and God’s supernatural power must increase in your life.
This may be a tough concept to accept. After all, we live in a culture and society that celebrates self and our strength to do anything that we set our mind to do. Also, we live in a narcissistic society that glorifies “ self”. Millions of people worldwide snap selfie pictures of themselves and post them on social media. Some Facebook users update their friends hourly with status updates when they so much as leave the house. Countless people spend thousands of dollars on the latest fashions, or spend staggering amounts of hours at the gym, or the salon to make themselves look beautiful. In addition, many ask continuously before committing to a job, task, volunteer event, or other altruistic venture, “what’s in it for me?”
This is not the philosophy that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, lived out or preached.
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 16:24-25).
Paul encouraged others to follow Christ’s example:
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:2 -3).
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).
Instead of possessing an attitude that focuses on how a venture might benefit us, we should instead have an attitude that asks, “What’s in it for God, or to the Gospel”? Or “how will this task benefit the Kingdom of God or bring Him glory”? When you become a Christian you put aside the claims to yourself. You may undergo a process of mourning or have a tendency to feel sorry for yourself when doing this. Do not embrace these feelings! They are not from God, but from the enemy (see Matt. 16:23). I am not telling you dying to self is an easy thing. Indeed, sometimes it is painful spiritually and even bodily. You may be in an unhappy marriage with an unbeliever and are the only one willing to stick with it no matter what. The world around you will say to bail but God’s Word says to stick it out and stay faithful to Him. Letting go of yourself for your physical and spiritual sustenance, means holding onto Jesus, instead. The Lord may take you through several experiences in which you stop relying on yourself and begin relying on Him for your provisions. It is important to embrace the nature of Christ who loved you so much that He willingly died for your sins.
For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (1 Cor. 5:14-15).