God would have you to understand yourself that you might deny yourself.
Who am I? Understanding who you are and what to deny is of utmost importance for the Christian. Christians have been admonished to deny themselves, or die to “self.” But what needs to be denied?
Every Christian has a God-given personal (self) identity, “who I am,” so you certainly are not wanting to deny or die to your spiritual identity in Christ. Nor should you deny your personal individuality which is your God-given distinctiveness as a person. To suggest that you are to die to your “self,” physical body would be suicidal. So, what are you to deny?
The answer: Understanding that your God-given personality has been influenced by sin, rejection and are such the patterned propensities of selfishness/sinfulness (fleshliness) in the desires of the soul — that must be denied. We must deny our personal interests of self orientation (Phil.2:4).
It's not up to you to try to change your behavior. Christian behavior is not behavioral modification. It's the behavioral manifestation of the life of Jesus Christ in you, the life of Jesus manifested in your mortal body— that change is God's business, not yours.
Jesus said, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it" (Luke 9:23-24).
The Christian life is Jesus Christ indwelling you and allowing the outlived life of Christ to be behavioral expressed through you. God would have you to understand yourself that you might deny yourself. So, deny your fleshly partners of selfishness and choose to participate with the righteous character of Jesus Christ, allowing him to manifest his life through you. Deny and Live!
Tuesday, April 4, 2017