Tender HeartsHow can we avoid being spiritually stubborn and unresponsive to God?
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“Lay Me Down”
The joy that comes with daily sacrifice only makes sense in light of the cross.
It will be my joy to say, “Your will, your way.”
The world sees the Christian life of sacrifice and says, “Stop giving up all of your rights and privileges. You must be miserable!” But Christians have experienced the paradoxical joy in giving up your life to someone else, in dying to self and living for Christ. As Paul said in Philippians 1:21, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Of course it’s not easy at first, the dying-to-self thing. Paul also said, “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:14). We are sinful beings who even when we know the freedom of Christ still long to satisfy the desires of our flesh. This is why we must daily lay down our lives.
Letting go of my pride, giving up all my rights. Take this life and let it shine.
How do we do this, practically speaking? By inviting Jesus into our day-to-day. There is a moment in each Christian’s life when we make a decision to believe Jesus was the son of God. That is huge. That is our salvation. But in order to know God, we must make a conscious effort to choose Christ every day like we did in that one salvation moment.
As we accept this discipline, we see that the sacrifice gets a bit easier with time, and the joy of the sacrifice begins to outweigh the shame of sin. We choose to submit to the leadership placed in our lives, rather than fight it. We choose to call our sibling or parent back even though they’re difficult to talk to. We choose to end the relationship that is pleasing to the flesh but devastating to the spirit.
Eventually the thought of not owning ourselves, but actually belonging to someone else will be the only thing that makes sense. Left to our own devices, we have made some poor decisions that placed us in bondage to something or someone. But left to Christ’s guidance, we feel the freedom of our lives and are joyful that life is no longer up to us. We are relieved to no longer be living for ourselves and instead to be a part of a much larger story.