(The Information & Edification Series – Batch 4)
Today is the 25th December, 2021, the day in which we have chosen to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord. A joyous and Christ-filled Christmas to all readers!
In Isaiah 9:6, the Prophet prophesied of his birth, years before he came down to earth, stating:
- “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
Micah the Prophet also declare many years in advance, of the everlasting, eternal Lord, who took upon him the form of a servant, left heaven and came to earth, to redeem sinful mankind to himself. He stated:
- “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
In this Christmas season, the SELFLESS sacrifice that Jesus made, where he abandoned his own interest to seek our eternal welfare and to suffer for us because of God’s love for us, should be meditated upon and emulated in our own lives.
When it comes to us, self has such a tendency to want to increase, that it is something that the Christian must ever battle with. For, even when the Christian feels he has conquered and self has been successfully put down in one instant, self once again tries to make inroads at some later time.
On 24th December, 2021, a few hours before the dawn of the Christmas Day, this issue of self, its desire to dominate our lives and our need to constantly be on guard against its infiltration, came to mind.
I therefore wrote, as a reminder to myself and all those who may take the time to read my personal Facebook Page:
HE must INCREASE
but I must decrease
In John 3:30, John the Baptist rightly said of Jesus his Lord and of his small role in comparison: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Amen.
We must learn to deny SELF (its whims, its fancies, its will, its dictates, the ego, pride, inflated sense of grandiosity and self- importance, the need for constant attention, need to win, need to be seen, need to shine, need to exact vengeance for perceived wrongs done against us, need to seek one’s interest first and to only care about what pertains to us or our little circle, need to be glorified, need to be ahead, need for accolades, commendation, limelight and preeminence) and take up our cross and follow HIM.
To follow Jesus we must embrace selflessness as perfectly depicted by him when he came to earth to die sacrificially in our place and for our sins and we must denounce me, myself and I. Jesus is not prepared to share his Lordship ever. His glory he will NOT give to another (Isaiah 42:8 KJV).
In short therefore, given that for Jesus to increase, we must decrease, the stronghold of SELF needs to be broken in our lives. Following Jesus’ perfect example, we must humble ourselves and be content to make ourselves (which we so love) of no reputation. We must be content to esteem others better than ourselves and not think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think.
- “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, NOT TO THINK OF HIMSELF MORE HIGHLY THAN HE OUGHT TO THINK; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3)
- “For if a man THINK HIMSELF TO BE SOMETHING, WHEN HE IS NOTHING, he deceiveth himself.” (Galatians 6:3)
- “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in LOWLINESS of mind let each ESTEEM OTHER BETTER THAN THEMSELVES. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But MADE HIMSELF OF NO REPUTATION, and TOOK UPON HIM THE FORM OF A SERVANT, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, HE HUMBLED HIMSELF, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:3-11)
A few days earlier, 15th December, 2021 to be exact, I also wrote:
There is the will of God and there is the will of your flesh.
The will of God is the authority to which you should obey but this does not stop the flesh from making demands, throwing fits, acting up and making dictates.
The flesh tells you to gossip, to bad talk someone, to retaliate and get angry when provoked by those in authority over you, to be selfish, to refuse to let go of your past and to do everything contrary to what God wants you to do. Yet, not because your flesh acts up and dictates to you what you should do or not do, does it mean that you must listen to it or obey. Through God’s divine nature which he has placed in you, you can choose to disregard it.
To disregard your flesh is painful, sometimes excruciatingly so, as it calls for meekness, humility, sacrifice and it hurts to give up what our flesh, which is full of ego, pride, anger and all of these wicked ways, wants to do.
Flesh is selfish and wants its own way but God calls us to be selfless, to put others before our selves, to love others and not to covet or be malicious or to seek to undermine them through badmouthing or gossip.
The Word of God says:
- “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”
Each day and moment therefore, you will need to make a choice: Whether you will submit to God and his righteousness or give in to what your flesh wants you to do.
You were created by God to bring HIM glory. That is your purpose. There is no higher calling. When you give in to the dictates of your selfish flesh though and do whatever you want, He gets robbed of his glory, which He deserves, having created you for that purpose and purchased you with the blood of Jesus.
Given that he has purchased you, you and your body are not your own but HIS. You do not own yourself or your body. He does. You are a SERVANT and a servant’s role is not to please himself but to please his Lord, irrespective of how he feels. Keeping this is mind, that GOD OWNS you, that GOD PURCHASED YOU, that you are His SERVANT, live your life to please Him, not yourself or anyone else, no matter how much this hurts your flesh or anybody else.
Remind yourself that: Holiness is what I want. Purity is what I want. To be in right standing with God and to bring him glory is what I want (which is what he created me for and is therefore my life purpose).
If you live your life for God’s glory, then that will be a life that was lived with purpose. Doing anything else is a wasted life. Tell yourself: I therefore need to deny this self and the wicked, selfish desires it conjures up and wants me to do, so as to keep me in bondage, to my detriment. I must crucify it if I must, no matter how painful and to possess this vessel in honour and sanctification, which I know is the will of God for my life.
- “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)
- “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” (Hebrews 13:12-14)
- “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” (2 Timothy 2:4)
(Written on 25th December, 2021)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be informative, interesting, beneficial or edifying, you may be interested in the following:
- Note 180 – ‘To Comfort Self Or To Pursue The Will Of God‘
Additionally, under the ‘SINGLE Daughters’ Page:
- Note 286 – ‘The Stronghold of Self’