Death. This is something that we all generally try to avoid, but those who live a healthy lifestyle are especially doing what they can to put off the inevitable. The whole goal of healthy living is to try to be alive and well for as long as possible, right? For the Christian, however, there is a kind of death that is welcomed at the start of one’s faith; one that means a new beginning of a new life.
When I was baptized as a freshman in high school, I understood that it was a symbol of what happened to my heart spiritually; that I died to myself and became alive in Christ. It is because of this death to self that makes a Christian realize that this life given to us is not our own, but is meant to be used by God however he sees fit. This is rather controversial, though — you know, the whole “I do what is right for me” movement that goes against what a Christian should be saying, which is “I do what glorifies God.”
God is in the process of working in my life in a way that I really would prefer him not to. I am sure I will write more about this in the future, but for now, I am realizing that death to self (for example, my own dreams and plans for my life), is what glorifies God most. When God’s plan for our lives derails our own plans, we are to take joy in the fact that we have new life–that the resurrection of Christ means we who believe in him also are resurrected spiritually. Paul says in Philippians 4, “For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” I want in on that secret too, don’t you?! The secret is in the resurrection.
I will obviously continue to try to avoid physical death through healthy living and such, but I am trying to learn how to pray a prayer that includes a daily death to self. Praise God that the resurrection makes that prayer not as scary as it seems!