I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
A young boy sat in church and watched as the offering plate was being passed. Wanting to give something, he reached inside his pocket for something to put in. To his dismay, he had nothing inside. As the plate was passed down the row and came to him, he put the plate on the ground and stepped inside. He had nothing monetary to give, but he gave the most important thing he had—himself. (Unknown)
The Lord has been challenging me since Monday of this week to die to myself so that I can live in Him. After countless hours of prayer and meditation, the Holy Spirit has revealed to me that dying to myself is far more comprehensive than I thought. It is beyond surrendering to God or seeking to live a Christ-centered life.
Dying to self is crucifying the “I” so we can live by faith in the Son of God. That is what Paul says in Galatians 2:20. It means crucifying all agenda, desires, interests, goals, plans, attitudes, temperaments, strengths, and weaknesses so we can live in the fullness of God. Many Christians ask God to reveal his glory and show His mighty power in their lives, but they refuse to get out of the way and want to micromanage the administration of God’s Holy Spirit in their lives.
The best illustration of dying to self that I can think of is marriage, as described in Genesis 2:24. That verse speaks about a man leaving his parents to unite with his wife, and they become one flesh. Just as a man give up his single lifestyle and identity so he can enter into a mystical relationship with his wife, the Lord is asking us to give up our “I” so we can be united with him.
In truth, it is to our benefit that we give up our I. Our “I” is ego-driven, selfishness prone, motivated by greed and self-preservation. It is disposed to temptation and easily led astray by the lust of this world. Unless we crucify the “I,” we cannot live by faith in the Son of God.
God has challenged me to stop living to myself, so I can live by faith in the Son of God. That means I have to give all of me as did that little boy in the illustration. I have to change my vocabulary and stop talking about my house, or my job, or my family, or my ministry. There is no longer any “my” because I died to myself.
Dying to self means that we cannot and should not make any decision without checking with God. God pays the bills, takes care of our families, provides the cars for us to drive, and supply all of our other needs. We cannot hesitate to give Him a tithe of His money He has allowed us to earn. We should not be reluctant to spend time in His service because it is with His time we are serving.
Unless we are willing to give all of ourselves to God as that little boy did, we will continue to stumble spiritually. We have to give up control so God can take control. When God is in control, we think with a renewed mind, speak with grace, love sacrificially, and serve with loving-kindness.
After reading this, devotional ask the Holy Spirit to crucify your “I” so you no longer live. Invite God into a marriage ceremony wherein you will die to yourself so you can unite with him. Then He will change your identity so you can love as Jesus loved, served as he served, and pray as he prayed with a passion for worship and fellowship.
Prayer- Blessed Lord, we want to be crucified with Christ so we will no longer live. We desire to live by faith in the Son of God so we can be instruments of your will. Help us this day to give all of ourselves away to thee as a sacrificial offering. In Jesus Name!