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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

dying to self

"I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go."  Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.  Then he said, "Follow me!" (John 21:18-19)

We try to control everything, don’t we?  Even our dying.  So when Jesus calls us to die to self, we immediately spring into action and start trying to figure out how we can do that.  The problem is that we are the ones trying to figure it out.  Thus, we are the ones trying to choose (or control) how and when and where we will do this.  Which is actually is a large part of our problem  
Apparently, as you can see in this interaction with Simon Peter, we do not get a say in that process.  God does not ask for our vote and then act accordingly.  Dying to self is all about surrender, not control.  Therefore, he is the one who gets to determine what this dying needs to look like, as he did with Jesus.
Dying to self—as modeled by Jesus—is neither selective nor discriminating.  I do not get to choose who or whether, the call to “Follow me” takes all judgment and discretion out of my hands.  Mine is just to die and to die and to die again.  Not out of begrudging obedience, but out of the deepest possible affection.  That is the goal—loving submission to whatever God desires.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for showing us what dying to self really looks like.  May we be more like you today.  Amen.

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