“If anyone 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 will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25).
We have had many challenging situations in our lives that require different levels of faith in God. I want you to understand that you cannot wait until after the situation is over to have a new level of faith in God. Believers that display this type of faith are conditional believers and have conditional faith. Then there are believers that have crazy faith, the kind of faith that even though they are looking at an obstacle before them they are not going to allow what they see to hinder what they believe. This is great faith in the promise of God, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary and the power of the Holy Spirit.
“So take heed to yourselves and do not be faithless” (Malachi 2:16). Satan’s ultimate goal for you is a “cross-less” life and he would like nothing more than to get you to move in the opposite direction. Since his first encounter with man in the Garden of Eden, he has attempted to deceive us into living for self in rebellion to God’s law. And if you decide to crucify self, the battle really begins. The devil realizes that you are aligning yourself with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as well as, the heavenly hosts. You are joining the winning team, the victory has already been declared. Satan simply cannot win.
When you die to self and live in Jesus Christ it strikes fear in the devil and his forces. “Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar” (Psalm 118:27). This passage of scripture means dying to self and for self, sacrificing the old man on the altar so that the new man
may live. Continuously and Abundantly. Most importantly, it is the one place where Satan cannot touch you.
Jesus’ words to His disciples in Matthew 16, describes a most amazing exchange called “sanctification.” The word we use today means an ever-increasing participation in His death. It is a price few Christians are willing to pay. Jesus pointedly said, “Lose your life
and gain Mine.” What a miraculous exchange! We hand in our “filthy rags” and unrighteousness, and in turn He gives us victory over sin and Satan. Yet too often and too many Christians decide to avoid making the exchange because we do not understand the value of what Jesus is offering. If we only knew the freedom and power that comes from total sacrifice and death to self.
We live in a world that truly needs to see the glory of God expressed in a spiritually mature and equally empowered church body of Christ. May we submit to the ministry of the One who has come to magnify God in Christ and see His great work among the people of God. The simple truth remains that without dying to self, there is no victory. The only people who have genuine authority over the devil are those who choose the way of the cross and die to self, daily. I thank God for blessing you to be a blessing to someone else in Jesus name. Amen.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of The Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- If There Were No Easter. (greatriversofhope.wordpress.com)