Monday, March 10, 2008

Dying to Self

This morning I had to say no to a lunch given in honor of a friend's birthday. I don't see my friend that often, and I was really looking forward to going—even though it's down in Highland's Ranch (on the south side of Denver, about 40 miles from where I live on the north side.) In fact, I was looking forward to seeing many of my friends who live down there. Obviously I don't see them that often.

But almost the very first thought I had this morning as I picked up my Bible for my daily time with the Lord was, "Don't go." Yes, I argued (really not a good idea, especially since the thought obviously came from the Lord, evidenced by scripture He gave me this morning and the excerpt below).

You see, I was planning to go even though I have a writing deadline on Friday (which is only about 1/3 completed) and four proofreading/editing deadlines spread out over Friday, Monday, and Tuesday. And I have our chapter meeting for ACFW tonight. Okay, what has to give? Well, at this point, my desires and pleasures have to take a backseat in order to accomplish what the Lord has given me to do. And no matter how I tried to justify this lunch (after all, it's with writer friends, the talk will inevitably lead to writing. That's a good thing, right?), it didn't work.

Then, this morning, I was checking the care page set up for my friend Sally who is battling colon cancer, uterine cancer, and related problems, her husband, Scott, had posted this excerpt from The Calvary Road, an excellent practical Christian living classic:

"...dying to self is not a thing we do once for all. There may be an initial dying when God first shows these things, but ever after it will be a constant dying, for only so can the Lord Jesus be revealed constantly through us. All day long the choice will be before us in a thousand ways. It will mean no plans, no time, no money, no pleasure of our own. It will mean a constant yielding to those around us, for our yieldedness to God is measured by our yieldedness to people. Every humiliation, everyone who tries and vexes us, is God's way of breaking us, so that there is a yet deeper channel in us for the Life of Christ.

"You see, the only life that pleases God and that can be victorious is His life - never our life, no matter how hard we try. But inasmuch as our self-centered life is the exact opposite of His, we can never be filled with His life unless we are prepared for God to bring our life constantly to death. And in that we must cooperate by our moral choice."

I really can't say it any better than that. My prayer, my heart's desire, long has been that I be broken, totally obedient to Him in all things. Today's lunch is just a small part of that being broken, of dying to self. But if I am to be faithful in the big things, I have to be faithful to obey in the little ones.

God is good!

Because of my hectic schedule this week, I'm posting the daily Bible readings for the week. I hope to post later to let you know how God worked in getting all my deadlines met.

Daily Bible reading: Tuesday, March 11—Job 14–16; 1 Corinthians 6
Wednesday, March 12—Job 17–19; 1 Corinthians 7:1–19
Thursday, March 13—Job 20–21; 1 Corinthians 7:20–40
Friday, March 14—Job 22–24; 1 Corinthians 8
Saturday, March 15—Job 25–27; 1 Corinthians 9
Sunday, March 16—Job 28–29; 1 Corinthians 10:1–18
Monday, March 17—Job 30–31; 1 Corinthians 10:19–33

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