SELF VS. GOD – DYING TO LIVE

Hi people! How are you doing?

I apologize for missing our date last Sunday. It’s been a demanding couple of days for me, but I remain committed to stewarding this assignment by His grace. I am thankful to God for His grace and for my incredible support system – who truly support me. You guys are such a blessing!

This week, I have two shout-outs. First, goes to my adult-child, Nkechi who has been an amazing source of support for my family and I. Thank you so much for all you are and for all you do for us. We love you! P.S: I can’t wait to see the look on her face when she reads this. Second shout-out goes to my sister-girl of 16 years and counting – the amazing Tosin Sanni. Happy birthday love. I pray that as you lean into the Father more and more this year, you are transfigured into His very image. I love you now and always. Two shout-outs in one post? Oh, yes! This year, I’m committed to celebrating the people in my life and letting them know they are special and loved.

Alright, let’s get into this week’s gist!  

I know that the first part of the title sounds like something out of a Marvel comic; and the second part an oxymoron, but I believe it captures the essence of our conversation, so read along and please share your thoughts in the comments when you’re done.

Now, the word ‘self’ needs no definition but in this context, I would like for us to think of it as personal interests. While I think that the concept of ‘self vs. God’, is one most of us can relate to, I can only describe it as the seemingly unending tension to either surrender to God or go along with your own desires, thoughts, and feelings. I don’t know about you, but I used to experience this tension several times in one day, so much so, that I always felt conflicted and exasperated. If you’re reading this, and you feel this way, a big hug to you. Be encouraged that you’re not alone and there is a way out.

For most of my life, I’ve always had a clear head with my ducks in a row – often knowing what I wanted or did not want; but when it came to God, I was usually unsure and fuzzy. I just wasn’t clear how things were to work. I knew God was real and powerful, but I wasn’t sure how to engage with Him. I went from not knowing if I was to ask His opinion on everyday things, to not being sure He would respond, then having Him often give a contrary response from what I wanted, and then Him not responding as fast as I wanted Him to. Talk about having God-problems; I was your girl! Amid all this confusion, I desperately wanted to an intimate relationship with God like I had heard was possible. I wanted to please God and involve Him in everything like He asked in Proverbs 3:5 -6 but the “how” to get to this point was clearly not adding up.

I thought that like most of the other relationships in my life at the time, God would be content if I met Him halfway (halfway in obedience mostly). You know, I’ll bend a little and perhaps He could also bend a little for me. I’ve always been a good negotiator, so I thought I could negotiate my way with Him too. But alas, I was wrong. While God is a loving Father who paid the price for our sins even before we were born, He is still God. He is righteous, supreme, and complete in Himself. There is no partiality or injustice in Him; and He would never change the terms of engagement just to please our individual desires. So, you see how my relationship had quite some hiccups.

Now I realize that at the root of my struggle with God was fear. I had heard so many stories as a child/ young adult, that I felt the need to control the various elements of my life. I wanted to control my career, my finances, my relationships, and the trajectory each took so I could live the life I thought would be best for me. I wanted a stable, affluent, and picturesque life. But I also wanted to have an intimate relationship with God, on my terms of course. LOL! I’m sure God was lovingly looking at me and saying, ‘it doesn’t work that way my child. I love you, but I’m God, not you. You have to know me, follow me and trust me to make you’.

Friends, “our Christian walk is not about living our best for God; it is about dying to self and about Christ living in us”. I came across this statement in the Blackaby Study Bible and I believe it captures the entire essence of this post. I know this isn’t what the world tells us, but the real way to a beautiful and impactful life is to die to self.

By dying, I mean to relinquish the reins of your life – surrender your agenda, will, methods, ambitions, and the many imaginations that your minds may have concocted at His feet, in exchange for His will, His way, His purpose, and His agenda. It is giving up self, for God. I can say these words without a shadow of doubt because I’ve been at both ends, and the surrendered life I live now is way more beautiful that my little mind could have ever dreamed of.

Permit me to reemphasize that, ‘Living in Christ is dying to self”.

As you read this, you may be wondering how you’re supposed to die to self; to answer that – these are my top 3 recommendations.

First, acknowledge Jesus as the source of your life. The old you has been crucified – dead, gone and forgotten so Jesus is the source of the life you live now. He is your point of origin so understand your new identity and, please, align.

I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me’. – Galatians 2:20

Second, commit to dying daily. Your walk with God doesn’t start and finish at asking Him to come into your heart. Oh no, it is a continuous one of dying to your natural inclinations and yielding to Him.

 ‘[I assure you] by the pride which I have in you in [your fellowship and union with] Christ Jesus our Lord, that I die daily [I face death every day and die to self-]’. – 1 Corinthians 15:31     

Third, feast on His word and maximize the ministry of the Holy Spirit. You see, God doesn’t want you confused. He loves you too much and so to guide you in understanding His ways, thoughts, and plans, He provided the Bible (as a life guide) and the Holy Spirit (as a teacher) to help you understand how to live.

Your words were found, and I ate them; and Your words were to me a joy and the rejoicing of my heart, for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts. – Jeremiah 15:16

But the Comforter (counsellor, helper, intercessor, advocate, strengthener, standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you. – John 14:26 (AMPC)

Dear friends, to live that beautiful life you desire; do the opposite – die to self and it’ll blow your mind what He makes your life into.

Don’t ever forget,

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3 Responses

  1. A wonderful and insightful piece there, Amaka. Huuuuunnh! It’s always very difficult to relinquish the steering of our lives to God, the self wants to be in charge, in control, dictating his will, desires and feelings to the detriment of our lives in Christ Jesus and His supremacy over all His Creation. Outside of Christ, I have no other life, He is the Lord and Master over all that concerns me, He knows the end from the beginning, nothing is hidden from His eyes, He is the Almighty of all the might in my life. So absolute Trust, Faith, Belief, Confidence in His Will and Purpose over my today and tomorrow will put an end to works of self in my life and in your life.
    Thank you.
    God bless 🙏

  2. Greetings! I’ve been following your website for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Texas! Just wanted to tell you keep up the good work!

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