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You Need to Die to Live

Updated on July 10, 2011

I am under the sneaky suspicion that all of life after we come to know Jesus is an opportunity for God to kill us (2 Cor 4:11). Actually, it is more than a suspicion; It's Biblical. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Theologian and martyr, was right when he said, "When Jesus calls a man, He bids him to come and die."

All of our experiences, knowledge, training, and everything, which we thought was overly important, leads us down the executioner's path so that the head of pride can be chopped off. I'm not saying that skills or character acquired have no value; I'm saying that ultimately people turn to God because of God's Spirit in us (2 Cor 5:20). We are just earthen vessels that carry God's glory (2 Cor 4:7). We (the rebellious will, not our personalities) need to get out of the way so that the dunamis can work. We need to die in order for God to flow.

Yes, God blesses beyond our wildest dreams. He gives us abundant life by removing guilt and shame; replacing it with joy and peace. The fleshly will gets in the way of this happening. That's why he kills it. More life will flow because of this work.

Galatians 2:20 was Paul's life theme, "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 delivered Himself up for me." You have all your daily requirements in this verse for a fulfilled life in Christ.

First, you have vitamin death that kills the stubborn fleshly will that gets in the way of you being useful to God. Then you have vitamin Christ who fills you with everything you need for spiritual strength and wisdom. Third, he gifts you with faith so that you stop being a chicken and believe and risk for God. Lastly, he covers your life with unconditional love so that you can handle all the rejection you will face for preaching in his Name. It's also good to know that you have a Father who loves you. Dads promote destiny and vision. When all of these four things are operating in their fullness, then I think you become an unstoppable, wrecking machine against the works of the Devil and a powerful force of life for God. How can the enemy kill you if you are already dead? Just think Keanu Reeves in the Matrix.

Every successful minister of the Gospel is dead to themselves and alive to God. Jaquin Evans, Doug Schneider, David Damian, Bill Johnson, and other ministers have one thing in common: they are dead to their own selfish will. God crucified them all. God is doing the same with us. We can fight it and prolong the pain, or we can willingly walk up the scaffolding and place our head on the chopping block. Don't worry. It will be over before you know it. Just surrender.

Please understand this one point: it is the rebellious will that God kills, not our personalities and gifts. God infuses our whole being, who we really are, with his Spirit and makes a beautiful painting out of our lives. It's the Spirit working in partnership with us that brings glory to God. If it wasn't like this, what would separate us from Buddhism and its teachings on emptying one's self? It's a mystery how God blends the two for his purposes. I just rest in Him. He knows what he is doing.

This is not a very long article. Actually, to write more would take away from the punch of Galatians 2:20. Just read this verse and ask the Holy Spirit to make it true in your life. It's time.

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    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 4 years ago

      A thought provoking devotion. "it is the rebellious will that God kills, not our personalities and gifts" - well stated.

    • GrowingDeeper profile image

      GrowingDeeper 6 years ago

      God bless you brother. I am currently teaching on this very concept in a Bible study I am privileged to lead. This is the key to the fullness of the Christian life. But, you said it best when you said surrender. God is still the perfect gentleman. We are to follow Christ, and He laid down His life. No one had to take it. He offered it. We need to do the same. God bless you Mr. Minstel.

    • Kristeen profile image

      Christine 6 years ago from Michigan

      We are just jars of clay in the hand of the potter. What a joy it is to know that Christ is living in me. Without Him I am nothing.

      Isn't it amazing that the Holy Spirit seems to be leading, you, myself and VOICE down the same road with our hubs this week. I love it. Praise the Lord! Smile, God loves you :-)

    • lone77star profile image

      Rod Martin Jr 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Awesome, Minstrel. Provocatively put! But powerfully appropriate.

      Everything you say about the self that dies sounds like ego. The willfulness, the selfishness, the pompous need to be right in the eyes of others -- each of these is born of the master of this world, ego. Humility is the antidote to ego -- giving it up for God.

      And yes, it's time.

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