"There is a cutting edge of our faith that is so much a part of the Gospel message – the call to die to self and to live for Him," says Rev Dr Lorna Khoo. Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash.
Nowadays, in our churches, we are given a diet of the need for self-affirmation, self-fulfilment.
Our feelings are paramount. Our giftings – and the desire that they are maximised – take on the greatest importance.
I sometimes wonder what happened to the diet that many of us were brought up with, represented by verses like:
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
Or hymns and songs like:
“O Jesus I have promised …”
“Jesus calls us, o’er the tumult …”
“I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back …”
“Once to every man and nation …”
“Is He satisfied …?”
“Take my life and let it be …”
Trust fall of surrender
The Christianity we seem to have now comes with a lot of cotton wool and warm fuzzies.
True, there is a place for comfort, healing, strengthening and empowering. But there is also a cutting edge of our faith that is so much a part of the Gospel message – the call to die to self and to live for Him.
Jesus didn’t die so that we can have a pie in the sky. His purpose in dying is so that we would no longer live for ourselves but for Him who died for us, and for the Kingdom to come on earth as it has in heaven.
Jesus’ purpose in dying is so that we would no longer live for ourselves but for Him who died for us.
I remember years ago when I was really angry with God for letting my German Shepherds, Mischief and Doxologist (aka Doxy), die. I was angry enough to want to crucify Him myself. The anger remained in me for quite a long time.
My friends Rev John Bedford and Annie Mackinnon, when they did inner healing on me, told me to say this prayer and, after saying it, to do a trust fall as a physical act of commitment.
The prayer was: “Father, if you want me dead, I will die. I trust You.”
It’s an awfully scary prayer. I finally said it and did the trust fall (Annie was behind me to catch and land me safely on the floor).
I realised that even though I didn’t feel much at that point, something “broke” inside of me. The anger, the rebellion that came with the bitterness and pain started to melt away. It was a point of full surrender.
Dying to self is not a once-for-all experience.
The inner being doesn’t want to be on the altar of sacrifice because it is a living being with its own passions and desires. A constant reminder from Him is needed as one walks the path of discipleship.
But the dying to self is needed if one decides to follow Him.
” I am no longer my own but Thine …”
This article was first published on Rev Dr Lorna Khoo’s Facebook page and is republished with permission.
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