Losing of Oneself
When we're down to nothing, He's up to something
Matthew 16:24,25... Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Denying oneself refers to putting down the old desires, the old way of life, the old patterns that were established before conversion. In other words, crucify the old "self" within.
We were born as sinners and it took time and practice to develop the sinful life of each individual. Since we have Christ as our Lord we have to discipline, to lay down that old manner of living and put on the second nature, which is Christ's.
Take up your cross means then to carry an instrument to crucify "oneself" upon. This does not mean that you have to carry some heavy burden. Taking up your cross reflects bringing to death the flesh.
Jesus also says: "and follow Me." Here comes discipline. This is our daily following of Jesus Christ by saying "no" to self and "yes" to Jesus. Only through the Holy Spirit can we follow the Lord and live a godly life. Nevertheless, we have to make the decision. Discipline means work and it takes practice.
We must become permeated with Christ so our thinking, saying, doing and being is what God wants it to be.
Ephesians 4:21-24... If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Colossians 3:5-7... Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
We need to acquire the character of God in order to show forth the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.
We need to allow God to shape us into His image.
We have to train ourselves in directing our lives around God and not around ourselves.
This means to examine our soul daily, even submit to the examination of others who are sent by God to correct, admonish and direct us.
1Peter 4:2... That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
Romans 6:6... Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
The willingness to lay down the old flesh comes from an inward longing to be completely Christ's. Total surrender to the Lord is a process by which we ourselves play a great part. It can be compared with a mother reaching out to her child who is taking its first steps. The mother is not doing a thing, just encouraging and coaching the child. Laying down the flesh is one of the first steps toward victory. Really, what we have to surrender is not much to start with and well worth the trade off.
Romans 12: 1,2... Ours is the daily sacrifice of the sinful self on the cross of Christ.... Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
At some point, we may take back that which we previously had surrendered, thinking that we were missing out on something. This has its consequences. Serving the world, the flesh and the devil through self-seeking, self-serving and self-centeredness will cause problems of our own making. Nevertheless, He will gently remind us that there is no good in the flesh and He can turn things around for our benefit. How strange this may sound. Whatever happens in our lives the Lord will be using it to teach us and to bring us unto perfection.
Psalm 9:10... And they that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee; for Thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek Thee.
There will be no slack time in the life of us who want to follow Christ, for we're still dealing with sin, satan and imperfection around us. We can only be victorious if there is a battle to be won. We can only be a winner over something that can be lost. Without a battle, victory will not exist. We can never be a winner if there is nothing to lose. As long as we stay active on the battlefield we will gain ground and Christ will show forth.
1 Corinthians 9:27... But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
As I have mentioned in other writings, don't see life's problems as obstacles, but rather as a challenge and an opportunity to grow closer to the Lord and to learn to walk by faith in obedience to His word.
"Mold me, O Lord," must be our cry!
Psalm 139:23... Search me, O Lord and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts.
In yielding completely to His will He can start creating something new in us.
Make Him your Lord and Master, besides being your Savior. Being out of control is the best place to be, as long as you give Him the wheel. By allowing Him to take over you'll stay at a safe distance from sin and temptation, and all will be under control after all. When you are diminishing, He will become more visible in your life.
Psalm 25:4... Make me to know Thy ways, O Lord; teach me Thy paths.
Trying to improve on what you consider the problem, is starting to work on the wrong end. Get where God wants you to be, yield unto His will. Don't get in a crammed situation. Relax in Jesus. Let go. Realign your focus.
Once you are where the Lord wants you to be all these other things, whatever this may be, will be worked out according to His plan and to the best of your interest.
Luke 14:33... So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
It all seems to be hard work for it goes against our carnal thinking. But there is a "key" in becoming victorious. Making the decision to follow the Lord all the way is a major "key." To open the door further you have to keep your "flesh" crucified (down and out).
Once you learn to master this, the Lord can take over and give you strength to do what you naturally can't do. When you keep the "flesh" buried, He will rise up. This is the perfect position by which His name will be glorified and man will be drawn unto Him. A position in which you are a willing, useful and effective instrument in His Mighty hands.
Romans 8:5... For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
I encourage you to reach out for the best and the highest place in the Kingdom of God, which is losing of oneself.
Then you will have arrived at the exact place where God wants you to be. A place where His name will be glorified.
Matthew 10:39... He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
Dear heavenly Father,
I come to You through Jesus Christ, calling upon Your name.
Take my hand in Yours. Lead me to the way that brings me higher;
a deeper walk with You.
You know my desire, I want to please You and live for Your glory.
I surrender my life so Christ will be seen in me. I need You, Lord, to do Your will.
I lay down my life so You can use me for Your Kingdom; reaching out to them in need.
Take me, Lord, and overwhelm me with Your Holy Spirit.
Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and make my intentions pure before You.
Stand with me, I pray, while I'm in the process of surrendering completely.
Thank You, Lord, for You are my sustainer and my staff.
I put all my trust in You, for You are my God, my Redeemer and my everlasting Father.
Lord, I am nothing without You. My soul longs after Thee.
I will glorify Your wonderful name, for You alone are worthy.
Reveal Your truth to them that read this page.
Remind them that this life is temporary and give them a vision of the eternal glory
which is awaiting them that have laid down their lives for You.
Thank You, Eternal Father, for hearing and answering my prayer.
AMEN AND AMEN !!
Psalm 72:18,19... Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.
And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.