Die Today

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Ps 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. ESV

God will show us daily those parts of our old fleshly nature that need to die through the refining process; a process that never ends. It is repeated over and over as we mature under the love and guidance of the Holy Spirit. But we are quite incapable of completing the process by ourselves. Our part is to submit to the refining by maintaining a contrite (repentant) heart, and a submitted (obedient) spirit.

While there are many things we can do and control during the process, the Holy Spirit has to bring about the change. Too often we respond by going through some outward process of our own design, albeit with a heart toward change. But the result is always superficial and short-lived at best.

Taking on the task of changing in our own power and strength is a guaranteed recipe for failure, and the worst part comes after we fail. That is when the enemy brings all the associated guilt and self-doubt. His goal is to convince us that it is useless and we cannot change. Guess what? He is right. We cannot change by ourselves because we do not have the strength and power that is required. So how do we die-to-self?

 Zech 4:6 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. ESV

 The Lord wants us to first acknowledge that what He is showing us needs to be changed. And the first step in that process is to hear His voice. This requires both desiring to hear and spending time listening. When our heart is submitted in this way, He is always faithful to show us those areas that He wants to change. The next step involves agreeing with Him and submitting to that change. Those two steps are the keys to the process of dying-to-self; agreement and submission.

The Lord wants us to admit that we need to change, that we are incapable of changing by ourselves, and that we are willing to let the Holy Spirit change us by His might and His power. This requires us to follow His leadership and that requires action on our part, which we are prone to fight because it is uncomfortable and painful. Remember, meaningful change always comes at a personal cost; the cost that brings us ever closer to Jesus. The more readily we agree to pay the price the faster and easier change becomes.

But how can we count or value our personal cost considering the price He paid for us?

David told us… a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart lifted to God in praise are the sacrifices He requires. Our Father cherishes them when we offer them up in response to the leading of His Spirit.  David sacrificed his spirit and his heart in the temple of his day … and we offer them up in ours:

1 Cor 3:16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? ESV

To die today … is the only way to truly live!

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