Die to self
In the book of Genesis, we see that Abraham was totally committed to G-d. He left his country, his people and his family at G-d’s command to go to a ‘strange land’.
When G-d asked Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac, he never hesitated and instantly obeyed G-d. And even though he loved Isaac, he was still prepared to sacrifice Isaac at G-d’s command.
We see here and incredible example of a man who died to self for the L-rd.
Another person who totally died to self for the L-rd was Rav Shaul, the Apostle Paul.
In Acts 21:10-13, we read: “And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. When he had come to us, he took Paul's belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’ ” Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.””
We, too, must die to self.
In Mark 8:34-35, we read this instruction from Yeshua: “When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it.””
This instruction is also found in Matthew 16:24-25 and Luke 9:23-24.
Hebrews 12:1 declares: “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
1 Corinthians 9:27 declares: “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
2 Timothy 4:7 declares: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
We need to bring our minds and our bodies into subjection to Almighty G-d.
You see, dying to self makes us effective for G-d.
Paul was the greatest of all the apostles and he was the greatest evangelist of his age. He also wrote much of the New Testament.
Through Abraham G-d birthed the nation called Israel (the Jewish people) and G-d promised them the Land of Canaan (known today as Israel) – Genesis 17:8: “Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
Through Abraham and his Seed, Yeshua, blessing came to all nations as G-d’s wonderful redemptive plan for mankind came about.
You see, it’s at a point of ‘dying to self’ that we are able to endure anything that is thrown at us by the enemy and by life; and no matter how difficult things become, we are able to overcome any situation and be totally effective for G-d.
And I can testify to this.
In 1991 our beloved daughter tragically died at the age of twenty one.
And in 1996 we had an armed robbery in which four robbers brandishing guns robbed us of our entire business and livelihood.
We had no insurance as the insurance company was busy assessing our security at the time.
Yet, these two difficult events in our lives moulded my wife and I to trust G-d and never take our eyes off Him.
These events humbled us as we realised that our lives and our future was in G-d’s hands; and we knew that He was faithful and that He would never let us down.
There were times that we did not know how we were going to make it through, however G-d never left us and He never forsook us.
He built faith, courage and a love for Him into us that enabled us to step out in faith and obedience and begin Emet Ministries for Him.
And we have since gone through another burglary. Yet I know that G-d will use this for His glory and for the building of His Kingdom. And I can’t wait to see what will come out of this burglary for the glory of G-d.
I conclude with this: Die to self; put G-d first by bringing your mind and your body into subjection to Him; then allow G-d to use you any way and in any situation.
And like the Apostle Paul, you too will be able to say: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).