Coming Alive Means Dying to Self
When we are under attack our survival instincts come out. We are fighters! But that creates a problem, for Paul says, ‘I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.’ If your number one goal is self-preservation, you are no longer free to make the right decisions. You’ll keep doing things based on what feels good, and what’s acceptable to others, rather than what God wants you to do. You’ll talk a lot about being faithful, but very little about being fruitful. You can only bear fruit if you are willing to die to self: ‘...unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies [to self], it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.’ (John 12:24 NAS) The ‘survival seekers’ in the Bible forfeited [gave up] God’s best by looking out for their own interests rather than God’s. Without considering Abraham, Lot chose the well-watered plains of Jordan, and lost his family (Genesis 13:10–11). The rich young ruler could have been numbered among Christ’s disciples, but he’d too much to lose (Mark 10:22). Often, the more we have, the tighter we hold on. Jesus said, ‘Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses [invests] his life for My sake… will save it.’ (Luke 9:24 NAS) Paul wrote, ‘I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me...’ (Acts 20:24 NIV). The safest place to be—the only place to be—is in the will of God!