“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. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” Luke 9:23-24
“For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Phill1:21
What Really is Dying to Self?
I did a survey and asked a few friends what they understood by ‘Dying to Self’ and below are some of their views:
Joe, a reggae worship artist says,
“It is yielding more to the real you who is recreated in the image of God in Christ Jesus (the spirit man) as opposed to the flesh. He says that the perfect picture of dying to self is just Jesus in Philippians 2:, that though He was God, He didn’t consider himself to be equal with God and humbled himself to the point of death, whereby God has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every other name.”
Emmanuel, a worship leader, observes that,
“Dying to Self is Worship. It is offering all you have, all you are worth to someone. And whatever you worship, you die to self.” He reiterates that worship is obedience, and that when you obey God, you’re saying “I’m putting aside my ideas, my thoughts, my desires and my plans to follow yours ‘cos yours is better and You’re bigger and You are larger than I am. So I relinquish my rights to follow your rights.” For him, it all boils down to worship.
Please walk with me as I delve deeper and share what I got from my research.
Death to Self is being set apart from the world, daily surrender and sacrifice to know Jesus more.
“Just as our muscles grow stronger as we lift weights, our ‘muscle’ of sacrifice strengthens as we accept more and more opportunities to deny ourselves in order to love others radically, serve others selflessly and administer to people when it is inconvenient or messy.”
In surrendering our own selfish ambitions to see God’s Kingdom come to earth, we need to engage ourselves in the steps of spontaneous surrender and strategic sacrifice where for example we can sacrifice time of: sleep for prayer, serving in the ministry, sacrifice time to mentor, and wake up early to read God’s word.
From the many scriptures that I selected, here are a few that are closely linked to Dying to Self:
Philippians 3:8 I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.
Galatians 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.
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.
Galatians 5:24-25 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit.
John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
According to Billy Graham, to die to self is to set aside what we want in this moment and focus instead on loving God with everything we’ve got, valuing others as highly as we value ourselves. (Mathew 22:37-39)
In a glimpse, when we die to self:
-We no longer try to get our own way.
-We let go of trying to make an impression on others.
-We’re no longer obsessed with self.
-We can be content even when we are overlooked.
-Could I honor others above myself? (Romans 12:10)
-Could I be secure in God’s love without public recognition?
-Could I let God be in charge of my reputation?
-Is God’s approval enough for me?
If yes, then that! is Dying to Self.
Finally, dying to self is a process. And it is that process of stripping away layers of sin encrusted with selfishness. It is an integral part of the process of sanctification.
Even as we go ahead in prayer and ask God how we might deny ourselves a little something every day, I reckon that we deliberately need to ask Him too for the strength that comes from Him in order to die to self, as we can’t do it in our own mortal might.
I hope that you have been enlightened just as much as I have been.
Wish you, as I do myself, spurred growth in our spiritual journey of dying to self!
PS: All scriptures quoted from the Holy Bible.