Lately the concept of self and what it means when Scripture tells us that we must “die to self” in order to please God has been tumbling around in my head. (see Romans 8:1-17)
I think I understand it better now.
Our self seeks pleasure and happiness…sometimes at any cost.
God knows that some of the choices we come face to face with can come with some hefty price tags. Temptations to please ourselves even at the cost of long-term (and sometimes deadly) consequences is foolish. Christ said he came to give us life and life abundantly. But there is another force at work…a being intent on destruction and harm. He is a cunning deceiver…most of the time using what sounds good to lure us into dangerous circumstances.
(Let’s be honest…who is ever tempted by something that doesn’t feel good, sound good, taste good, etc?)
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
1 Peter 5:8-9
God tells us we must die to have life…Satan offered life but brought death upon us.
We have to choose, sometimes, whether we will follow the desires of our own flesh or choose to follow the guidelines that God has provided for our best interest.
“Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—
but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.
For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die;
but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,
because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”
The question is: Who do we love more?
(which consistently falls prey to misinformation & deceit,
leading us on a path to destruction)
or our Father God?
(who provides an escape from temptation
so that we can live life abundant and free)
Every decision we make…to obey or disobey…answers that question.
Francesca Battistelli’s song “It’s Your Life” reflects this Truth:
“Every day the choices you make say what you are
and who your heart beats for…”