“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” Philippians 3:10
Inside of each one of us is a will that desires to be respected, esteemed, and exalted. If you live your life with that as your primary purpose, you will never become intimately acquainted with the power of Jesus’ resurrection. Many people spend far too much time trying to prove their point or manage what others think. They consistently make their opinion known even to the point of counter productivity. If they are right they usually make it known in spite of the damage that may occur to their witness or relationship. Much of this is done with the motive of how they see themselves or how others see them. Once we dedicate our life to Christ we forfeit our right to esteem our opinion. The only thing that truly matters is the Lord’s opinion of us.
As Jesus suffered and died so that the body of Christ can be resurrected in power, so must we die to self so that the Spirit of Christ can empower us to do His will. Whenever we act out in our own strength trying to justify ourselves or our opinion we hang Jesus on the cross again. Jesus tells us to deny our self, take up our cross and follow His example (Matthew 16:24). To deny self is to disregard, lose sight of, and forget your own interest in pursuit of following the example of Jesus. So if you fight for your earthly desires and natural rights to be fulfilled, although you may win, you still lose.
To conformed to the image of Christ requires that our image be humbled and esteem others above ourselves. In essence this may mean we have to choose to be the lesser. Although we may be greater in deeds, status, position, and intellect we should not consider it robbery if all those things go unrecognized. As Jesus who was God did not consider it shameful to become poor that we may become rich, so must we not consider it shameful to esteem others above ourselves, nor be injured in our soul when we are unjustly abased to the lesser.
So if your opinion is counted as foolishness and your advice is disregarded yet feelings of revenge or anger don’t reign inside; that is dying to self. If your good works are discounted and your intentions to help others are twisted to be viewed as self serving, but feelings of resentment don’t find a home in your heart, that is dying to self. If your desires are overlooked and you don’t seek justice for yourself even though you have a natural right to; that is dying to self. That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering.
I’m Andrew Freed and you are an Overcomer in Christ.