Dying to self is not popular or easy, but Sheen is here to tell us why all Christians need freedom from the self-focused life in Day 13 of the What Freedom in Christ Looks Like Online Event by the Blogger Voices Network, hosted right here at KellyRBaker.com.
Sheen is a Christian blogger from the Philippines. She is a work-in-progress: follower of Christ, wife to Kris, and mother to Josh. Her blog shares God’s story on how He is teaching her to have The Heart That Is Good in every area of life. You can also find devotionals and other people’s inspiring stories in her blog. Join Sheen as she learns how to live a life with a teachable heart.
Freedom from the self-focused life has to do with dying to self. As a Christian, what does it really mean to die to self? I actually didn’t understand it until God opened my eyes. This October, I will be celebrating 7 years of true freedom in Christ. Let me share with you my journey in faith and how God continuously lead me to an abundant life with Him.
My Journey to Freedom in Christ
I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in 2007. My faith was renewed in 2012 where I experienced true freedom in Christ. I was a career oriented person that time. I would always seek to improve myself so that I’ll have more opportunities to work in a big company, to earn more, to travel, to reach high positions at work, and so on. My eyes were only focused on the good things this world could give me
Until I had a life changing encounter with the Lord where my desire, goals, and perspective in life drastically changed. The journey wasn’t easy. God knows how I struggled with my faith and with the things I wanted to have. But God helped me understand His will for my life. It’s not just to enjoy but to live a purpose filled life. Little by little I saw myself seeking more of Him, reading and applying His word in my day to day life, and sharing Jesus to others. It was a transformation that amazed me.
Dying to Self Is a Blessing!
I used to get jealous and envy others for all the good and fun things they experience in life. But now, I see myself being happy and even praying for them. I began to be contented and happy with what God gives and allows in my life. Dying to self isn’t really bad, it’s a blessing! It’s the way to find true meaning, purpose, and fulfillment in life!
I read a study about “Dying to Self” by Dr. D. W. Ekstrand. It is our nature: to lead on our own; to seek what is good for us; and to do the things we want to. When things don’t go our way, we easily get disappointed. When we don’t get the things we wanted the most we get frustrated. This is because we live for our own. But when we choose to accept Jesus and live for Him, we have to die to self. We have to deny our old self and live the new life He had set for us.
In Galatians 2:20 (NIV) it says, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
It means that we don’t live to satisfy ourselves anymore but we live to please the Lord our God that we serve. Dr. Ekstrand said that every genuine child of God wants to be used by God to accomplish His purposes in the world. Genuine followers of Christ understand that God created them for a reason and that they want and are part of God’s plan for this world.
Pursuing God’s Calling in my Life
Recently, a dear friend shared something that moved me. She said that God doesn’t want us to just enjoy life in this world but to see us grow and get closer with Him.
Having fun in our lifetime here isn’t bad. And I believe God would graciously like to see us enjoying the things He created for us. But as His people He wouldn’t want that to be our first and only goal in life. He wants to see us living out His word. He wants to witness us bringing others to Jesus.
I remember there was a time when my dad wanted me to work abroad so that I can earn much and live a good life. My dad worked there for a long time and he knows the opportunities it can give you. I thought about it for a time because I know I wasn’t earning enough, and I wanted to help my family. But I know it’s not what God wants for me. I believe that I have a calling in this place and pursuing a comfortable life in this world isn’t my focus anymore.
Last year I started my blog “The Heart That Is Good” where I share my own story of victories, pain, trials, and devotions. I also invite other people to share their own story on how God has been working mightily in their lives. It has been a blessing to me and to others as well.
Dying to self is not popular and it can be hard. It’s part of growing spiritually. But this is the truth that all genuine Christians must accept and believe.Dying to self is not popular or easy on our journey to freedom in Christ, but here’s why all Christians need freedom from the self-focused life. @ateachableheart #BloggerVoicesNetwork #FruitOfFreedom