Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Training for Reigning

Remember the patriotic billboard of the elderly gentleman with the tall top hat that sternly pointed his finger and said “Uncle Sam Wants You!” In a similar fashion, God wants all of us who are called by His name to willingly surrender our lives to the advancement of His Heavenly Kingdom.

All of us have been enlisted in an intensive spiritual boot camp, if you will. As we are daily led through this course of “basic training,” we are instructed to build up our spiritual endurance and stamina. One of the ways we do that is by the various trials and testing that come our way. Every time we resist, every time we flee, every time we say “No” to ungodliness, we become stronger in Spirit.

There is one particular obstacle course that must be successfully completed in order for us to become manifested sons and daughters of God: the test of dying to one’s self. When we run this course of dying to self, and walk in complete and total union with the Lord, we then become qualified to rule and reign with our King, Jesus Christ. Here are some of the objectives:

  • When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, and your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient and loving silence – then you are dying to self.
  • When you are content with any food, any offering, any raiment, any climate, any society, any bit of solitude, any interruption of the will of God – then you are dying to self.
  • When you no longer care to refer to yourself in conversation or to record your own good works, when you no longer itch after commendation, when you no longer place your satisfaction in being known – then you are dying to self.
  • When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met, and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit, feeling no envy and no desire to question God, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstance – then you are dying to self.
  • When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than you and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart – then you are dying to self.
  • When you are forgotten, neglected, or purposely set aside as nothing, and you personally don’t hurt from the sting of the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer with Christ – then you are dying to self.

Are you feeling like you can never successfully finish the course? You are right. YOU CANNOT! But the Christ in you can! Be encouraged, company of saints. Remember: the Kingdom of God is within you. As you allow the King of Kings to rule within your very being, He takes over where you leave off. And before you realize it, He is perfecting that which concerns you!

He leaves us with a wonderful promise in Jude 24:

To him who is able to keep you from falling and present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy.

Copyright © Missey Butler. Used by permission.

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