Thank God for the Dying {Even to Self}

Holey Wholly Holy Dying to Self

It goes against every instinct within us. And yet, when we submit to His Nature, that’s exactly what’s required. It makes sense, really, because grace goes against our human nature, too. If we want to dwell in His presence and experience holy firsthand, friends, we must bend until we break. We must die to self.

Jesus showed us this path to Holy.

Then He said to them all, “If any want to become My followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for My sake will save it.”
Luke 9:23-25

We must deny ourselves. Forfeit what we want to save. I can do that. In fact, I have… But do you see the word I struggle with? DAILY…

Jesus knew I would. But in Godly form, He didn’t leave us stranded. He used many examples and preached countless sermons in His 3 years of ministry to show us all the ways we could accomplish this daily task — to become less than any standard we place on ourselves.

I came up with 27 examples in the book of John alone, but I’ll just give you the one that spells it out the most for me:

The King of Kings –our very own Messiah– took a servant’s job and washed feet. Including the one who betrayed Him. And told us to do the same. (John 13)

But your life is not just about you–your life is about Christ in you–about the work He can do through you, when you yield to His will.
~Kris Camealy, Holey, Wholly, Holy

Jesus explained why.

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.”
John 12:24 NLT

Friends, nothing tells His story better than living the most important part of His story in our everyday life. Daily.

And I’m learning how to embed my story, my seed, in everyday soil while planting my feet on His solid, holy ground. It’s really more simple than I imagined and yet hard enough that I need to make the daily, conscious choice.

We fail to give up the one thing that stands between us and Christ. Ourselves. Only when we have given up our own ambitions and desires, from that death to self, can we be used to produce much for His kingdom.
~Kris Camealy, Holey, Wholly, Holy

Jesus taught us how.

“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Luke 22:42

Something within makes us feel we need to be spotless, flawless before we present ourselves to the King of Kings. Friends, in this upside down Kingdom of Grace, that’s the furthest from the truth. We should come to Him bloodied, bruised, broken. Just as He came for us…

Don’t forget how Jesus presented Himself to God here in Gethsemane –the Crushing Place. He was sweating blood and rightfully so. Friends, I’ll never be that stressed. He made sure of that. You see, Jesus will never ask for more than what He has already given.

And while there’s pain in the lessening of ourselves, the deeper blessings more than fill the holes we’ve spent years trying to cover over. God is big enough. His love is rich enough…
~Kris Camealy, Holey, Wholly, Holy

Paul applied it.

I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally,
experience His resurrection power, be a partner in His suffering,
and go all the way with Him to death itself.
If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.
Philippians 3:10-11 The Message

So how am I living this out today?

Every day is different, or this would be my last post. But I’m finding common ground with the good days —where I do lay my life down and follow — and the bad ones — where I chose myself over Jesus.

I’m discovering I simply need to live like He’s in the room, because that keeps my focus on Him. And some days I do need to come to Him broken and helpless. Other days, I just need to bow at His feet in holy reverence. Every day I need to kneel at Gethsemane and pray the following prayer — some days I need to repeat it often until it sinks in:

Jesus, I choose You today. Because You first chose me. And I realize I’m getting the better deal here, so let’s do this thing called life together. Let me live Your story for Your glory. Show me how to make more room for You here…Jesus, let me die so You may live right here in me…

I like to think, some day, maybe I’ll be able to spend less time at Gethsemane. Maybe not and that’s okay, too. Because I know Who was here first. I know what He did for me. And I know He’s worth dying for…so I’m choosing to pick up my cross and follow. The cost? I’ll be paid back ten fold in the end…

NOTE: This is a part of my Lenten series based on my experience through Lent last year and my reading Holey, Wholly, Holy by Kris Camealy this year. You may check out the entire series HERE. I’ll be back next Wednesday. Please read through the “Metanoeó” portion of this book as we will talk about All or Nothing.

If you do not have this book yet, Kris is giving away FREE PDF COPIES HERE for a limited time! Or you may purchase a kindle or hard copy (highly recommend) HERE.

How about you, friend? How have you learned to die to self daily? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

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18 thoughts on “Thank God for the Dying {Even to Self}

  1. Nikki,
    Every post you write goes straight to my heart and brings something into focus for me that God has stirring in my heart.

    I am so thankful that He has led me to you! Blessings to you!
    Vicki

  2. Live like He’s in the room…because He is, isn’t He? That is a simple, yet challenging tip! Thanks for modeling this for me, my precious friend:)

    • I’ve been trying it awhile now, Mandy, and I have to say–it seems to be working! Wonder if it will become a habit soon…so far it requires daily, conscious effort…anyway. worth it. 🙂

  3. this:
    “And I’m learning how to embed my story, my seed, in everyday soil while planting my feet on His solid, holy ground. It’s really more simple than I imagined and yet hard enough that I need to make the daily, conscious choice.”
    This is the purpose of living out our faith and what truly brings glory to God. The reflection of our Savior’s love expressed with intentionality in our daily lives, in the small things.
    love it!
    Aly

  4. Nikki, this whole thing is so rich. It’s amazing to see what God is doing in you and I love that I get to be a small part of your journey. It’s so very humbling the way God works. Thank you, my friend. Thank you for sharing your story, and keeping it real. This brings so much Glory to the Father!!

  5. To live like He’s in the room – great idea, Nikki! I’ve always considered “Dying to self” to be a cousin to “laying down your life for a friend.” Laying down your plans for the day, your preference, etc. Being willing to be interrupted (and not having an attitude about it).

    Great thoughts! So glad to see how Kris’ book is blessing so many 🙂

  6. “I’ll never be that stressed, and Jesus made sure of that.” Amen. Oh, Amen. These thoughts you have on Kris’ book are so rich and applicable. I am tucking this thought, dying to self, daily, right into my heart today.

  7. “Something within makes us feel we need to be spotless, flawless before we present ourselves to the King of Kings. Friends, in this upside down Kingdom of Grace, that’s the furthest from the truth. We should come to Him bloodied, bruised, broken. Just as He came for us…”

    ….good grief – what words. I am blessed here. Constantly.

    Thank you, thank you.

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