There was once a man who loved his King. The king loved carrots, so the man grew the fattest carrot he could. On the day he presented the carrot, the king was overjoyed and gave him five more acres of land to see what kind of carrots he could grow with that.
An official in the court overheard this conversation and thought, “He got five acres for one carrot! Let me see what I can do!” The official brought in his finest horse and presented it to the king. “Thank you!” said the king. But the king offered him nothing in return. The frustrated official whined, “A man gives you a carrot and you give him five acres of land. I give you a thoroughbred steed and you give me nothing!”
The king replied, “When the farmer gave me a carrot, he gave it for me. When you gave me a horse, you gave it for yourself.” The moral of this story is that it is very easy to want something from our King, instead of offering up what we have and who we are to Jesus, not for our benefit but for His.
In the flesh we are drawn to find our self-worth and self-importance. If we use our identity, use our self to reflect the grace we have received in Christ Jesus as we interact with our family, our church, friends and relationships and replace Jesus as Lord with our own ambitions and our own needs as Lord, that at its heart, is another form of idolatry, no different from cussing, physical abuse, or bowing before a statue of Buddha.
Many unbelievers watching this is in us, seeing this do not reject Christianity, but the “Self Christianity” they see in us. We with our own flesh become the stumbling block of others coming to know Jesus Christ, eclipsing His glory with our worship of our own importance instead of that of the Son of God. When unbelievers are around you, what emanates from your words and actions? Is it you or Jesus Christ?
To help us with this dilemma Paul gives us the formula to overcome this syndrome.
I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. Galatians 2:20
John the Baptist understood it when he said in John the 3rd chapter, I must decrease, that He might increase.There is a humility, an emptying of ourselves when we crucify our flesh, crucify our carnal man, crucify our own selfish wants and desires with Christ, and there is a liberation that comes with understanding what it means to crucify yourself with Christ. Let’s look at our own Lords example;
Philippians 2:5-8 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very natureof God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!
You can begin this process of taking on the same attitude that Paul instructs us to take here in Philippians by acknowledging your own “human feelings or emotions”—all of them: the good, the bad, and the ugly. See them for what they are in truth to yourself and before the Lord… Look clearly at the hurts and wounds you have suffered at your own hands and from the hands of others, such as lies, deceit, game-playing, manipulation, and hypocrisy etc. and crucify them with Christ. Look at you own natural defense, be honest with yourself and offer that person before the Lord and His mercy. Let Him open your eyes and free you from yourself: Let Him become your fulfillment.
Turn away from all the carnal, anti-Christ satisfactions of the secular world that is pushing Jesus from the center of your life and replacing Him with you, and surrender your will to Him so he can renew you and let Him be Lord of who you are.
Ephesians 4:18-24 Some have a dark understanding and are separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them because of hardened hearts- they’ve lost all sensitivity and they are given over to sensuality and indulge in every kind of impurity. You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. You have heard and know the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is corrupted by its deceitful desires; be made new in the attitude of your minds; put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Here is what Paul is saying, die to yourself, reduce who you are, and increase who He is. That’s what being “born again” is all about: putting away the old self, along with all its illusions, and putting on a new self, a new creation in Christ. And in doing this, even as our Lord was, you become an instrument of God’s will, dedicating your being, your talents and completely becoming His servant for His benefit and the benefit and salvation of others and their needs.
Mark 8:34-37 Jesus said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?
When we die to ourselves we no longer have to wrestle with selfishness that can impede the effectiveness His Spirit in our lives, and that compromises our contribution to the Body of Christ. Fear in the flesh becomes nullified when we realize that we have nothing to lose (we are dead); we have been crucified with Christ. God requires that we live boldly for him in each area of our lives. This can only be accomplished, by truly dying to ourselves and becoming a weapon of mass reduction. As you submit yourself to Christ, and reduce who you are, He increases. And in Christ……
- We have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ
- We are assured that God works for our good in all circumstances.
- We have been established, anointed and sealed by God.
- We have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.
- We are born of God and the evil one cannot touch us.
- We are God’s temple.
- We are seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm.
- We can do all things through Christ, who gives us strength.
- We are Strong in the Lord and in the Power of His Might
We Are Weapons Of Mass Reduction!