I have some daily struggles. Geez, that is an understatement! Really? Don’t we all, in some way, shape, or form? I keep hoping some of them particularly will just go away. The fighting against them is the daily struggle.
I DIE DAILY
Today I was reminded of three words from the Bible – words that bother me – “I die daily.” (l Corinthians 15:31) Talk about a struggle – the apostle Paul summed it as feeling like a death he faced every day. Yikes.
First of all, did Paul mean literal death? Paul also talked about the resurrection a lot so it seems dying and resurrection go hand in hand, which is kind of an oxymoron. Life and death together, hand in hand?
“If anyone would come after Me let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). The same thought is right here from Jesus Himself, that if we follow Him we must deny ourselves and take up our cross daily. The CROSS was/is a symbol of death/ a torture tool used by the Romans, and has always represented death. Wait. So Jesus said to follow Him, I need to carry a cross? I need to die to follow Him? Help me Jesus. Then, is my life a daily death? Who or what am I dying to? What exactly is the cross I have to bear to follow Jesus? And can I do it? It sounds hard. Oh wait. It IS hard.
DYING TO SELF
Could Jesus have meant our struggles with life in general would require some self dying on our part? Like, our choices, things we have to give up, things we must walk away from, all the things. We would need to die to ourselves…to die to our rights…to die to our choices…to die to sin…to die to our desires. Ugh.
THIS is the struggle every day. But die I must.
I always just hoped the struggles would get easier, or I would find closure, or finally be strong enough to totally overcome. And maybe all that DOES come to pass, but first I must die, in order to live. Read that again – we must die, in order to live. Really, this daily death is simply me being sold out to Jesus and NOT giving in to all the things that pull me away from Him. So because this hurts, can feel like losses, will break my heart even, yes – it feels like a death.
LIFE FROM DEATH
THIS – (wow) -” “You have died with Christ, and He has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world” (Colossians 2:20) Choosing to carry our cross (whatever each of our crosses looks like…); choosing to follow Jesus (whatever each of our walks looks like…), we WILL find life and freedom as we pass from death to life every single day. Jesus was our example to follow – “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2) We endure the cross for the JOY that comes after! BAM! NOW I get it.
Dying daily is a choice. And as we choose Jesus, we get the sweet reward – we get JESUS.
“On and on, on and on
You carry me
You are there, You are there
Even in my wandering
When I fall, when I fall
Oh, let it be at the cross.” (“I Am Undone” by Kim Walker)
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