Dying to Self: Surrendering All and Receiving Abundant Life
Dying to self and living under the Lordship of Christ is foundational for Christian discipleship. We can explore these foundational truths by exploring the following;
There is a physical death that is very easy for us as humans to understand. Then there is spiritual death which is a separation from God and which happens to all human beings because of sin. There is also what is called eternal death, or second death, which is hell. And there are many other situations where people use terms like clinically dead, emotionally dead, memory dead, etc. Death is the end of the road!
The power and mystery of death to self is evident in a story of a couple that Oprah once interviewed. It was a second marriage for the husband and wife, and the wife said what a wonderful husband he was and that she never knew a man like this existed.
Oprah asked the husband what he did to make his wife so happy and he said, “I died to myself.” Oprah did not understand what he meant and questioned something to the effect of: “You died? How could you die, you’re still here?”
The husband tried to explain, but Oprah didn’t understand.
Jesus said to those who followed Him, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me…” (Luke 9:23-25).
THE STORY OF THE PIGLET
There once was a story of a man who wanted to have a unique pet that nobody else had.
As he was walking one day, he saw many piglets playing in the dirty water along with their mother. He made up his mind he would have a piglet as his pet. He took one piglet home, washed it, and gave it delicious meals, love, and care. They became good friends. One day, he went for a morning walk with his new pet, and he enjoyed his walk because people were looking at him and his pet and asking him questions about it. As he went along, the pig saw other pigs playing in the dirt, and the pig forced itself from his hands and jumped into the dirty pit to play with the rest. The owner of the pig was upset. He took the pig back, and washed, cleaned, and trained it. But after a few days, the same thing happened when he went for a walk again with the pet. He finally got confused and decided to leave his pig. He shared his dilemma with his friend who was a veterinarian. The friend took the pig to his clinic where he performed surgery to remove the heart of the pig and replace it with the heart of a sheep.
After the healing process was complete, the owner took the pig back to his home.
The next day, he took the pig for a walk again, and, as soon as it heard the sound of the other pigs playing in the dirt, it pushed itself from the owner, ready to jump into the dirt. But just before jumping, it stopped and moved slowly backward. It tried to jump into the dirt again, but again it stopped as if something was pulling it back.
The owner was surprised to see the transformation in his pet.
We experience similar situations where the heart tells us no to the dirt and the body tells us yes to the dirt.
Our lives are similar to this piglet.
We are old, sinful people who want to continue doing sinful things. But the spirit in us tells us to do what the Spirit of God wants us to do as children of God. We can make the decision to obey or not obey the Spirit of God that is at work in us. If we decide to obey the Spirit of God, we are making a decision to die to our own selfish desires. God wants us to live lives that will show forth the qualities of our master, the Lord Jesus Christ. As born-again sinners, Jesus is calling us to live our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ.
Discipleship is a call to die to self to live under the Lordship of Jesus Christ on a daily basis.
Being obedient to this call enables us to say “no” to our wills, our wishes, our desires, our hopes—and to say “yes” to His will for His glory.
It also enables us to fully surrender to Him our lives and everything He has entrusted to us, accepting our role as stewards. When we choose to obey His will, He uses us in a special way to make us a blessing for many who are in need of Him. We need to let His life consume and control our lives as we seek to imitate Him as His disciples (Romans 8:29).
Am I willing to pay the price of being a disciple of Jesus Christ?
Do I live as a disciple who dies to self on a daily basis?
What are some of the hindrances and the ways to overcome them?
Am I operating as an owner or a steward of my life and all the possessions God has entrusted to me? Have I really transferred everything to the Lordship of Jesus Christ?
What are some of the obstacles that stop me from being obedient to Christ and keep me from enjoying the fullness of life?
Global Disciples Canada is a Christian mission organization that trains local leaders living near least-reached communities to multiply disciples for Christ. One-third of our world hasn’t heard the Good News of Jesus. Yet. Global Disciples refers to these as “least-reached” people, and fewer than 10% of all missionaries work among these groups. We live in a time where many of these people are within reach of a local church. Through our simple and effective strategy of training and coaching, believers share the Gospel in their own nations and cultures. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” and we’re committed to doing just that. If you are looking for a Christian mission organization to partner with to become a better disciple and help make disciples, connect with us today!
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