“I have been crucified with Christ;
and it is no longer I who live,
but Christ lives in me;
and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself up for me.
I do not nullify the grace of God,
for if righteousness comes through the Law,
then Christ died needlessly.”
“Dying to self”. Not much fun! But necessary because self is the antithesis of Christ as Lord. Lordship is who is in control? Who is making the decisions? Who are you going to follow? It is so easy to live to self! Money and possessions and self-gratification and self-expression are the gods of our age. But the Son of God loved me. He loved you. So much that He died not only that we might live forever in heaven with Him, but that we might experience abundant life here on earth. A life full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. And above all, a relationship with God the Father.
The fruit of crucifying self is the joy and peace of walking with and enjoying the fellowship of the Creator God much like Adam and Eve did in the garden. What does crucifying self look like? Well, it is spending time with God through prayer and Bible reading. It is obeying His voice even when it is inconvenient or we don’t understand. It is accepting the hardships of life with joy and patience. It is serving God through the church and individually, always looking for an opportunity to minister to others through the word of God. It is doing the task that God has given you with abandon rejoicing in His gifts and talents. It is a life of thanksgiving to God for His love and sacrifice and for the abilities and opportunities that He brings your way. Crucifying self is living a pure and godly life. Choosing activities that would not shame you should Christ be there. It is denying the self-indulgence of material possessions and accepting all things that come your way with thanksgiving.
Dying to self becomes a habit. It is a way of life. It does no look like the world. It does not necessarily look like other Christians. It is your special walk with the Savior lived out minute by minute. It is not a list of do’s and don’t’s. It is a relationship. It is forgiving and accepting and looking forward with great anticipation. It is relinquishing the right you have to your dreams and your expectations and your desires and rejoicing in whatever God has for you – be it great riches and happiness or be it pain and suffering. It is an inward peace no matter the circumstances. It is trusting in the Lord, Jesus Christ.