“Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, 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, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?”
Luke 9:23-25 NLT
We all want to live in victory and yet it seems elusive at times. Why is that? Because there is a remnant of self somewhere still alive in us. Jesus Christ has won the victory, so obtaining the victory isn’t the problem; overcoming self is the problem! Everyday every part of self must be defeated and die.
Living the overcomer’s life happens as self is daily defeated within us. Jesus has proven that death, hell and the grave have been defeated but the self still rears its ugly head. Every time this happens, we must not ignore it but willfully wrestle it back to the cross and crucify it once again. Galatians 2:20 is not a one and done kind of verse but a daily practice for all Christ-Followers.
Helpful hints to defeating self and living in the victorious Christian life.
Focus on Christ. Temptation become stronger when we focus on self. Therefore changing your focus to Christ and remembering He died for sin which comes from temptation will help subdue the power of the temptation. The more we think about it the more powerful the temptation becomes. Focus on Christ and all that He is and has done.
Pray constantly. Thinking isn’t praying. There is power in prayer. Prayer is relying on God and His Spirit to control while thinking often leads to rationalizing our choices. Don’t debate a temptation or rationalize it. Run to God in prayer!
Die to self. The more Christ-conscious we become the less “self-conscious” we become. The battle between self and Christ can be fierce at times. The battle is won in surrender not in fighting. When we surrender our will as our example Jesus did, we can experience a victorious and abundant life. As followers of Jesus this life is already within us… it’s just being overshadowed by self.