“Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I-Peter 5:8).
Self-security: Mr. Webster, the dictionary guy, defines self-security as freedom from danger or risk, safety 2. freedom from care, anxiety, or doubt; well-founded confidence and 3. something that secures or makes safe; protection, defense. We want to believe that Mr. Webster is right; we are safe or at least can become safe. We live in a world in which it makes sense, to some, not to worry. We have child-proof locks on our medicine bottles, warnings on our Starbucks and McDonald’s coffee cups that we should not drive with the hot beverage in our laps (a lesson I learned the hot way).
We have vaccines, antibiotics, MRI’s and CAT scans to protect and guard our health and wellness from microscopic attackers. Collectively we have a massive military structure for our national defense and local police forces to protect and serve—one of the more common
mottoes the community will see on their vehicles. We even have hospitals and emergency medical facilities, and we feel that we are safe. However, when we look at the deeper levels of what is happening around us daily, we begin to realize that there is no basis for such naïve optimism. Self-security, the belief that one is safe or can make oneself safe, is a deception of the children of God and it must die.
It is worth noting that the points we have looked at in the four earlier posts began with the word “self” which says something about our current human condition, both saved Christian and lost sinner alike. What does this mean? More importantly, how can you die to self as you seek to be empowered by the Holy Spirit and follow the example set by Jesus
First and foremost, dying to self means there is a willingness to yield to the Lord Jesus in everything. EVERYTHING! We often refer to this as “repentance” which is translated as turning from sin and offering yourself on the altar for God to do whatever He wants. That is hard for humans to understand, and even more difficult to do as a willing participant. Yet God requires it of every believer.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus spoke of His coming death on the cross and then taught how His followers would be required to give themselves completely: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies; it remains alone, but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:24-25). Why is it so important? When Jesus spoke these words to his followers, He was actually saying; “What happened to Me will
happen to you.” If the Son of God was not spared, how can we be self-secure? Safe!
The only people who have genuine authority over Satan are those who choose to go to the cross, to have self and sin nailed to the cross and die to self. Dying to self is the only way to be victorious over sin, and the moment you yield yourself completely to the cross, you terrorize Satan. Real victory means following Jesus to the cross in total surrender. It means dying to your own ambitions and desires. Nothing less will do. Self must die!
“Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be
done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin” (Romans 6:6). This kind of death takes place in the Spirit realm. Understandably, we do not literally get a hammer and allow our hands and feet to be nailed to a cross. It goes deeper than physical pain. Spiritually we must offer the “old man” to be sacrificed. Only by living a life of total dependence upon the Lord and by nailing the flesh to the cross can you live so sin and Satan cannot touch or harm you. I thank God for blessing you to be a blessing to someone else.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ