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“You are dying,” the Lord spoke quietly and clearly into my heart. In the midst of all the chaos around me, and as a tornado of emotions tore through my heart, I knew the words were His. And though not so very long ago I would not have understood, I understand now. I am dying daily, which means I am right on track in my relationship with the Lord. But why?
Jesus Christ made it abundantly clear that to be His followers, we must die to self. We must turn away from our sins. We must learn to say no to temptation. We must be willing to leave behind our own, fleshly ways. We must not follow the ways of the world. We must be willing to leave behind anything and everything He tells us to, whether it be riches and wealth, family, jobs, houses, anything at all for Him. We must be willing to get out of our comfort zones, say goodbye to the familiar, do stuff we cannot even fathom, live our lives in such a way that we cannot possibly live this way without Him. We must place our trust in Him rather than ourselves, and be willing to go to places we cannot even imagine, talk to people we would rather not, do the unthinkable, the unreal, the far beyond what we would ever dare to do. But how?
By dying. For in order for Christ to live in and through us, we must say no to ourselves and what we want to satisfy our flesh, take up the individual crosses we are all called to bear, die to ourselves and our own selfish ways, and follow Him wherever He leads us – ultimately all the way to heaven to spend eternity with God.
I have studied the Bible enough now to know, and I have experienced enough in my walk with the Lord to understand. I wasn’t merely being melodramatic when I told the Lord I felt like I was dying in the midst of my trial. I was, and I am. My flesh is dying. My own ways are dying. My self-centered ways are dying. My selfishness is dying. My impatience is dying. My vengeance is dying. My anger is dying. My temper is dying. My old ways are dying away as God resurrects me from a dead life. For the life I lived before was just that. Dead. Alive in the world’s eyes perhaps, but dead to Christ. Headed for hell. Now, headed for heaven, with a strong faith in Christ as Lord, my old self must die. Yes, I am dying. I am dying so I can live for Him – now and always.
Salvation and the promise of everlasting life comes as a result of repenting of our sins and placing our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord who died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and was raised from the dead. This is called being born again. This involves a genuine commitment to turn away from our own ways and to live our lives for the Lord according to His ways as the Bible teaches us. We are not called to simply believe in Jesus Christ. We are called to die to ourselves and to follow Him.
Are you a believer in Jesus Christ? Are you a follower of Jesus Christ? Are you dying daily?
Luk 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Luk 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
Luk 9:25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
Luk 9:26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.
Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Luk 9:57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
Luk 9:58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
Luk 9:59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
Luk 9:60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
Luk 9:61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
Luk 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.