[stextbox id=”pp”] Kenneth and Ishwarya are passionate lovers of God and are based out of Chennai, they travel on invitations to minister from God’s word. You can connect with them on their website here. [/stextbox]
I caught hold of a verse in the Bible as a young believer once. Little did I know that the Biblical truth was going to revolutionize my life!
The Church mostly moves around with “positional” truths while the Bible is a divine book consisting of “experiential” truths. We claim that Jesus saves us from our sins but are still taken down by the sins of our past; we claim that we are seated in the Heavenlies but send people to a doctor when sickness shows up while we have God’s power on us to heal.
Are You a Follower of Christ?
Jesus posted the single requirement of being His follower as “Death”. I caught hold of this when I was young in the Lord and moved in life killing my “self” at every turn. Some people thought I was crazy and stupid but my entire being knew that Jesus was serious when He uttered those words –
“Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves (Die to my “self”) and take up their cross and follow Me”. Matthew 16:24 (NIV) (Emphasis being on “mine”)
A follower (disciple) of Christ is someone who follows the footsteps of Christ, lives like Christ. Man’s ways contradict God’s ways and the only way to follow Christ is by dying. Your greatest battle is not with satan but with your “self”. I pressed on even though it was not easy because I got more of God in return.
What is Dying to Self?
Dying to self is a lifestyle of repentance and obedience; it is disconnecting from people and the world to connect with God, putting God above self, people and Church traditions. It is doing what God wants, and saying what God says – Crucifixion-Surrender. Death may not sound pleasant but getting God in return makes it glorious. Dying to self is not one of the options, it is the only option you have. God’s purpose in and through you can be fulfilled only when you die. Real life starts only when you die because we were made for God and you don’t get to God without crucifying your “self”.
“Anyone who intends to come with Me has to let Me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat – I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow Me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, My way, to finding yourself, your true self”. Luke 9:23 (MSG)
I, Me and Myself
Most of us do stuff in our own way, forgetting that Jesus is not our boyfriend but our Husband, not just our Lover but also our Lord. We have programmed our life and Church services according to our own desires, pleasing our self and other people, while all through our course God is up there waiting for us to repent and select His ways. A Christian without a daily crucifixion is just a Christian by name. Only when the “Me syndrome” in us is cured, Holy Spirit takes over.
A Dead Man Named Paul
God told Paul that His power will rest in weakness. The weakest condition of a human is death and God’s power rests on you when you die to your “self” to depend on God for everything. Paul punched his self at every turn and thus became one of the greatest men of God in History.
Death, the Pathway to Intimacy and Revival
Only your death can get you closer to God. God is Holy and your “self” cannot stand His holiness. God is one with your spirit (the real you) and when you dismantle your “self” you will experience an “intimacy of oneness” with God. “The more you die the more of God you get”. Jesus asked us to die to our “self” so that we will enjoy an intimate relationship with Him.
Sacrifice attracts God and a sacrifice is something dead. Dying to your “self” brings God on the scene. When you die, God will live through you and you can boast like Apostle Paul – “I don’t live but Christ lives through me”. I am not talking about moving in the gifts, I am talking about God moving through you in His fullness. Wherever you go, revival would break out because God would be on the driver’s seat in your life.
Be a Walking Holy of Holies
Every child of God is the New Testament Holy of Holies, Temple of God. Death to self through repentance, obedience and separation is the way that leads one into the Holy of Holies, and a lifestyle of death makes you a walking Holy of Holies. You don’t have to shout at demons. When you enter a city the demons would be on the run. You don’t have to beg God to heal people; on your morning jog the sick in your street would be healed. God will be walking with you, through you on this earth and crazy things would start to happen. God is in the business of making walking Holy of Holies; God is on the lookout for men and women who are ready to give up “everything” for Him. God’s ways, God’s plans, God’s desires and not mine!!!
Under the new covenant you are enabled or empowered by God to obey whatever He commands. You are empowered to kill your “self” everyday!
I die a thousand deaths before every service.