Monday, March 02, 2009

Dying to Self

Dying to self sounds great and noble in theory, but in reality is quite painful. I'd prefer the kind of "death" where I fall asleep and wake up transformed into exactly what God wants me to be, fully obedient, grace-filled, patient, loving, forgiving, the whole nine yards. And no longer wrestling with desires that do not appear to be part of God's will for me.

Alas, that type of death is not to be. We're called to present ourselves as living sacrifices--submitting ourselves to the flames of God's altar. And last I checked, fire burns pretty badly. Perhaps that is why I keep pulling away, trying to escape the pain. I want to exchange my life, my desires and dreams for His, but I don't want the hurts and struggles that are part of the transforming process.

But it is often in that very struggle and through those very hurts that I experience God's love and mercy in greater depths than I would otherwise. As torturous as this death is at times, that is the only way to experience the true life that God has to offer.

Just this morning I was thinking about a particular situation that is causing some heartache, and reminded myself that maybe the reason God had not provided an escape from the situation was because He was using it to draw me closer to Him. This life is not about me, much as my ego would like to think otherwise. Only in dying to self and living for God can I find true fulfillment. Only in laying myself upon His altar can I allow Him to work His transformation on my heart and my life.

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