Something I have really struggled with for the last several months, and in reality my whole life, is the concept of “to die to self.” I actually understand the concept, I just don’t do it…every day…every hour…every second…every moment…
There is much in my life that I hold on to with dear life that I shouldn’t. This I know, and God has been doing His absolute darndest to get my attention…because, I believe, He has some really wonderful blessings that He is ready to bestow upon me. Now…they may not be wonderful in terms of the world, but to Him…they are GLORIOUS. I beg Him to use me, but He cannot use me until I die and allow Him to reign supreme in me.
Now that I’ve said all that, this morning I got this wonderful devotional from Elizabeth Elliot in my inbox that has been coursing through my very being all day. I want to share it with you, and to encourage you to die to your self if you haven’t already done so…not only that, but to do it every day…every hour…every second…every moment. Do it.
We may not get the lives we want…the lives we work toward, and, really, isn’t that a good thing? Because the lives we really want, the lives our flesh wants, are lives of destruction and death – eternal death. But we can die to self and live – eternal life!
From Elizabeth Elliot:
To hold onto something with a desperate grip is not the way to die. Death is a painful process, and restoratives offered to the dying wretch bound to his wheel only prolong his agony. There are times when the thing to do is simply to die. I am thinking, of course, of dying to the self. We clutch so tenaciously to our rights, hopes, ambitions, something to which God has perhaps said a plain no. If would-be comforters offer us consolation and sympathy, if they assist us to strengthen our grasp when it should be loosened, they do not love us as God loves us. The way into life is death, and if we refuse it we are refusing Him who showed us that way and no other. The love which is strong as death is not only willing to save the beloved, it is willing to seem, if necessary, pitiless, insensitive, unloving, if that is what will help the beloved to die–that is, to be released from the bondage of self, which is death, and thus enter the gateway of life.
Archbishop Fenelon wrote to the countess of Montberon, “You want to die, but to die without any pain…. You must give all or nothing when God asks it. If you have not the courage to give at least let Him take.”