Freedom from the Tyranny of Self

“…and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves,
but for Him who died for them and rose again.”

2 Corinthians 5:15 NKJV

Ever felt miserable?  I believe we can trace much of the misery in our lives to areas of uncrucified self-life.  Wherever self is allowed to reside unchecked, the waters of our hearts will be muddied.  And wherever self is allowed to reign, the fruit will be misery.  Abundant life (which Jesus promised us – see John 10:10) is stolen, and in its place we find a meager existence that lives on diversions and passing pleasures, largely void of the presence of God.

The answer to this problem is simple, but costly:

I have been crucified with Christ;
it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;
and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Galatians 2:20 NKJV

Paul understood that to truly experience “the good life,” we must stop seeking “the good life” and start seeking to let Jesus live through us.  The sooner we humble ourselves, choose the place of servanthood, and cease striving to do or get for ourselves, the sooner we enter into His joy, peace, and rest.

We simply bring our entire lives to the Cross once more in full and unconditional surrender, abandoning every shred of “self” – like self-will, self-preservation, self-reliance, self-justification, self-promotion, self-love, and every other form of seeking our own good or glory, and invite Jesus to rule and reign anew in us.

He must increase, but I must decrease.

John 3:30 NKJV

Only in surrendering self and seeking Jesus will we ever be fulfilled.  Every earthly treasure or prize, ever award or accomplishment, every dream realized – all will be empty and void unless it comes in the path of loving and serving Jesus and others.  Self-life spoils everything it touches; seeking Jesus first brings meaning and joy to even the valleys and deserts of life.  You and I don’t need to seek “our best life now,” or a purpose-driven life, or any of the other self-focused fads that pop-church culture has sold us.  We just need to seek Jesus

Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it,

and whoever loses his life will preserve it.

Luke 17:33 NKJV

When Jesus is our treasure, all else finds its proper place and priority.  I believe that one hour in the manifest presence of the King of Kings is of more real spiritual value that many hours of man-centered religious activity.  For in His presence, we are transformed into His image.  We’re made more like Jesus, our minds are renewed, our hearts are healed, we’re better equipped to serve others with His love…And we’re set free from the tyranny of self.

For Prayer
:  “Abba, teach me to cease seeking self, and to simply seek You… Grant me grace to abandon every care and concern to You, to put aside the busyness of this life, and to focus on Your Word and will.  Refresh my heart with a hunger and thirst for Your Presence.  Teach me anew the joys of being a servant, of worship, and of walking humbly before You every day.  Fill my life afresh with Your love and Holy Spirit this week.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.”  

May the Lord bless you with His freedom this week,

Pastor Matthew (Casey) Langston

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2017

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