by: Creflo Dollar
Do you know what death is? Essentially, it is separation. When a person dies, his or her spirit is separated from his or her physical body. Spiritual death is separation from God. Even in the life of a Christian, there is a death that must take place; but it is not a physical or spiritual death. The death I am talking about is the death of “self.” Dying to self means to put aside your fleshly desires; your plans, purposes and pursuits that don’t line up with God’s will, so that His life and will can be expressed through you. Many people wear the title of “Christian,” but are still holding on to their plans, their ways of doing things and their selfish desires. This only hinders the power and plan of God from manifesting in your life. To experience God’s very best, you must embrace His Word and His way. Dying to self is how you do it.
When you become a Christian, God’s will for your life must become your ultimate pursuit. He has a plan and purpose for you and wants to reveal it to you. However, you must be willing to die first. Are you busy trying to fulfill your will for your life instead of seeking and aiming to fulfill the will of God? Have you laid down your life and your will because you love God more than you love yourself?
When you live only to please yourself, you are not really living. The abundant life God has predestined for you is hidden in His will; and you will not be able to find it until you have released the control of your life to your heavenly Father.
Many times, people are afraid of completely giving themselves to the Lord because they mistakenly believe what God wants them to do won’t be fulfilling or produce the kind of results they envision for themselves. Nothing is farther from the truth! When you pursue the will of God and submit to what He wants you to do, the results will far surpass anything you could imagine for your life. Not only will He put His desires for your life in your heart, He will fulfill them (Psalm 37:4)!
Luke 17:33 in The Message Bible says, “If you grasp and cling to life on your terms, you’ll lose it, but if you let that life go, you’ll get life on God’s terms.” When you lay down, or die to, your will, you position yourself to receive a better life; one of abundance in every area. But when you insist on doing your own thing, you can only go so far.
Trusting God and believing the love He has for you is essential to your being able to die to self. When you don’t really know God loves you and has your best interests at heart, it will be difficult for you to really trust that His plan for your life is better for you than your own. So many times, we believe we know exactly what we want; but God has more for us than we could ever imagine. Ephesians 2:10 in The Amplified Bible says He has a good life prearranged and made ready for us-but we must believe this truth.
I look at laying down your life as planting a seed in the ground. The only way for a seed to produce a harvest is for it to be planted. Once in the ground, before it springs up into a plant, it must die and produce roots that go deep in the ground. After this process begins to take place, the plant grows upward and produces fruit and more seeds. The first thing that had to happen, however, was the planting and death of the seed.
The same is true where your personal will is concerned. You must plant your will as a seed, allow it to die and then the life of God will cause the seed you’ve sown to come up and produce a greater harvest.
Jesus laid down His will for the will of the Father. Before His crucifixion, He was tormented in the garden of Gethsemane. He struggled with wanting to do His will (not going to the cross) versus doing the will of God. Instead of giving in to selfishness, He prayed, trusted God and kept going forward. He was determined to do the will of the Father, rather than follow His emotions (Mark 14:32-36).
Our prayer should be that the will of God is done in our lives. You may be battling with choosing between the dreams, goals and desires you’ve always had for your life and what you know God is calling you to do. Trust God, knowing that everything He has planned for your life is good, and will bring you lasting success and happiness. As much as you may want a particular thing for your life, God wants to give you more. That’s the kind of Father He is.
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