The Battle: Dying to Yourself

           When you’re in a conversation with another person, the first question asked within American culture is typically “How are you?”…If we’re honest with ourselves, the majority of us ask the question not for the answer of the person we ask, but for the general custom of reciprocating that question. In plain English, we’d rather talk about ourselves than know how others are doing. This is human-nature…in the natural state. Terms like “I”, “Me”, “Myself”, “Mine”, etc become the prefix for a vast quantity of our spoken and written sentences. I’m guilty as well. It’s very easy for me to write to you about myself… how I’m doing, what I’m feeling, the things that have been on my mind, but it’s difficult for me to focus on things that are not of selfish nature; not self-oriented.

            All people have certain shortcomings. Some aren’t punctual. Others gossip about their friends. And yet others are simply apathetic to the world around them. All of which are sinful. God created us to love Him and love others. Nowhere in Scripture are we commanded to love ourselves…we are commanded to love others as we love ourselves (because God already knows that we love ourselves way too much, which is what makes it difficult for us to love others to that same degree). Society has taught us that in order to be successful, we must have good self-esteem. Our teachers have told us to keep our heads up and to never lose. We’re always selling ourselves to the world.

I’ve got to be honest with you…I, Justin Meyer, am not a very good product to sell. There’s that filthy self-oriented term “I” again. I can’t figure out a way to write this part without it though, so bear with me. I’ve gotten into credit card debt and lied to my parents about it. I’ve dabbled in the sinful world of lust. I’ve squandered a good year or more of my college-education being self-absorbed; whether via social media, chronic-depression, or a very selfish focus within my relationships. God has blessed me with the cream of the crop when it comes to fellowship. Few will ever have the caliber of friends that I do. To those of you that read this, I am incredibly grateful for your patience and unconditional love with me.

The bottom line is that I will fail. Every. Single. Time. I have given up…its okay though. This needed to happen in order for the next leg of the journey to occur. Galatians 2:20 states, “For I have been crucified with Christ, I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” A few chapters later in Galatians 5:24-25 it says, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” So why is it okay that I will fail every single time? Because I must die to myself anyways. The old Justin Meyer MUST be put to death. 2 Corinthians 5:17 states, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.” By the power of the cross, I can become a new creation under the authority of Jesus Christ!

Now, by absolutely no means is this easy…I don’t write to you as an expert. I’m an amateur and have much to learn from those before me. Thankfully there’s the Word of God that captures many faithful brothers and sisters in Christ whom have gone before and walked life on the straight and narrow path. There is much comfort, exhortation, and hope to be found in Romans 6 on this issue though. Take a minute to slowly read the chapter that I’ve copied and pasted from BibleGateway.com below. I would’ve only selected a few verses, however, I feel that the entire chapter is very important and speaks the truth of God far better than I could place eloquently into type.

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

 1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

Slaves to Righteousness

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

19 I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[b] Christ Jesus our Lord.

The main point made is that I no longer have to be a slave to sin but I should joyously embrace the idea that I am a slave to righteousness should I choose to follow Jesus Christ as my LORD and Savior with all of my heart. Authentic followers of Christ are incredible difficult to find in the world we live in. 1 John teaches us to examine our hearts often to see if we have been diligently following Christ. I must say that the past few weeks I have certainly not been walking the straight and narrow, but rather I have been attempting to patch the holes in a sinking ship. The ship being me: my dreams, my efforts, my plan. Well folks, that ship has sailed and it has been sunk by the storms of life, the mighty hand of God, and because I was the captain of that ship.

I’ve found myself on a deserted island with nothing but the relationship that I have with Christ, His Word, a notebook, and a few faithful friends that have pledged to stick with me through thick and thin. The battle to die to myself has just begun. In order to advance the Kingdom of God and allow Christ to dwell within me, I must allow myself to kneel before God and state that He has control. Something that is incredibly difficult for a man to do, since we are so prideful in nature.

I mentioned earlier that my personal weaknesses are being self absorbed especially through social media. So through the very strong urge and encouragement of a friend that cares about me immensely, I’ve given him my passwords to my Facebook and Twitter accounts, so that I can only be on them for short periods of time when he’s around. I’ve deleted my Google+ account and Netflix account. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I WILL succeed this semester by the grace and power of God. I WILL give my life over to sharing the Gospel and making Jesus look as good and faithful as He is; whether in conversation, at the gym, or in my professors’ offices when asking for help on my rather intense class line-up.

My prayer tonight is going to be Psalm 73:25-26, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

You can join me in this by praying that God truly becomes my ‘everything’; my portion forever. Also, those of you reading this should seriously examine your hearts as Scripture exhorts us to do and see if you have truly died to yourself and have allowed yourself to live by faith in Christ alone. My prayers are with you all this evening!

Blessings,

God’s Servant

9 thoughts on “The Battle: Dying to Yourself

  1. Justin,
    You Are Doing! you see your socializing as a waste of time, and yes maybe you could have spent time a little differently but while you were socializing you were building the infrastrcture of your ministry, not only as it pertains to you but also how you pertain and relate to those who gravatate towards you. You might find freedom in less questioning yourself and more seeing your action(or non-action) as a leading of the Holy Spirit and be alert(as I think you are already are) as to what the Spirit is trying to reveal to you. Are you there to teach in that moment? Are you there to show that as a Christ follower one can find solace and understanding,unity? Are you there to learn to laugh at yourself and be humbled in your own personal walk with God? Our “sin” can be turned into God’s good my brother, look at your above post again, don’t you see all the hope you gleamed in your traslations from your heart to the screen? Be bold Justin as you have seen you can be. The Spirit has asked me to give you this passage from our Most Holy Book, please read Jeremiah 1:7-19 in your Bible, God is waiting for you there, may He bless you with abundant mercy and grace on your journey.-watw

    1. Thanks a lot! I really like that passage. While you say that I am doing and I believe that God can use even the most wretched of sinners without them even being aware of it, I would say that while that is true…I could have been doing a lot more. But that’s okay, because the old me is being put to death and the new me is a new creation that is capable of the things spoken in Jeremiah 1:7-19, certainly have your readers, praying over me often and God’s immense power will prevail over my sinful nature!
      -Justin

  2. I will, you can rest assured that I will be praying and I will update the prayer page so our brothers and sisters who are praying for you will too! I’m glad God gave you something from that scripture I was sure you would find a message in it somehow. Be blessed and to allow conviction to guide you is to be lead by the spirit, we sometimes ignore the urgings but that is why God grants us grace.-watw

  3. ……. Amazing. Simply put. How can one ignore such passage laid before their eyes without conviction setting in. I in not way am judging anyone. I’m just saying that we all struggle in our walk with Christ but we must not give up hope in ourselves when we stumble. Our Savior is forgiving and understands that we will fall. Repentance, dust ourselves off and keep going. Once again my heart has been moved. I truly understand this post and I have been examining myself a lot more. Dying to self is not easy but if we want to follow Christ, we must take up our cross DAILY. I am so thankful to the Lord in Heaven for mercy and grace, I thank Him for having an unconditional love for me, for you, for us all. He took our sins to the cross knowing the price that came with it. He knew we were going to fail more than one time. This not only applied to those of the past but to us of the present and future. What Love!! How I want to shout and just praise his name but in some quietness is what I have to settle for as my kids are now in bed sleeping and my husband is behind me asleep as well!

    Justin, my brother….. my prayers are with you. I stand in agreement with those praying with you as we all take a good looh inside to examine our hearts. Boy you have been on it! Through your own struggles, God is still using you. Know and believe that. God has you in his hands. You have many that are speaking life into you and your walk with Christ as well as your daily living. I always try to put myself in someone else’s shoes. This is why I have a heart for people. I want us all to grow and succeed in life, especially our Christian walk. It’s not about religion. It’s about having a personal and intimate relationship with our best friend, lover of our soul, The One who gave his all just for us that we would have eternal life with Him in Paradise FOREVER. I want to cry at this point. Not because I feel sad but because I can rejoice knowing that He paid it all so that we are free in Him. There is no sin that can separate us from
    His love. He gives us chances over and over and over again until we pass. He’s waiting with open arms….. calling us to come and fellowship with Him. He’s there to pick us up when we fall. I can’t help but adore Him.

    I pray that as we draw nearer to Him that he will draw nearer to us. I know that He will. I believe it with all of my heart. I stand on His Word for our lives. May we just be real with ourselves and examine who we really are asking The Lord to show us our weeknesses that we may be too blind to see and to comfort us during the process of renewing our minds and restoring us to who we are in Him. Truth may hurt us but in the long run, stripping us of our old man and putting on the new is worth the temporary suffering.

    In Christ I thank you for sharing….

  4. It was a monster connect! I see that now….. sorry! I was typing from my phone and my spirit was full. Keep on denying yourself Justin. You’ve taken some mighty leaps. Reading through the comments and all, God is truly working. Have a great day!

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