Updated: Feb 17, 2022
Have you ever lifted up a rock and seen bugs scurry away? I’ve heard people tell about getting out of bed in the middle of the night to go to the kitchen for a snack or a drink and turning on the kitchen light, see cockroaches quickly running away.
Look around this world.
There is darkness everywhere. It seemingly is getting darker by the day. Jesus told us this would happen. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 tells us “that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.”
More and more, God’s truth is tolerated less and less. John 3:19 says, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” That was first said thousands of years ago, and still holds true today.
When the righteous shine their light, those that are in darkness hate it.
Like bugs under a rock, they will not tolerate it. They run from it, trying to hide. They try to escape the light and the Holy Spirit conviction that comes with it.
Others choose to rise up and fight against it rather than run. Sadly enough, it is not just unbelievers that fit this description, but many “church go-ers” do also. My family and I have suffered persecution many times for stating God’s truth and standing for what we believe in and know to be biblical. At times the scrutiny came from unbelievers, but many times it came from people who used to sit in the same church pew with us. We have been personally attacked, ridiculed, mocked, and condescended upon by carnal Christians.
In John 15:18-19, Jesus said, “If the world hates you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.“
1 Peter 4:14 says, “If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.”
While persecution is far from comfortable and I could happily do without it, I do rejoice! I am ecstatic that after decades of walking with Jesus I am finally getting a glimpse of the place I’ve longed and prayed for all these years. A place in my relationship with Christ where people can see more of him than they see of me. A deeper place in Him where His life shows through me, not my own.
I came across the following piece years ago and have always kept and used it as a prayer for myself. It is my goal to be crucified with Christ, so that it is no longer I that lives, but Christ who lives in me. He is my love. He is my life. He is my all, my everything. “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
DYING TO SELF
When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don’t sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ…THAT IS DYING TO SELF.
When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient, loving silence…THAT IS DYING TO SELF.
When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, any unpunctuality, or any annoyance; when you stand face-to-face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility-and endure it as Jesus endured…THAT IS DYING TO SELF.
When you are content with any food, any offering, any climate, any society, any raiment, any interruption by the will of God…THAT IS DYING TO SELF.
When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendations, when you can truly love to be unknown…THAT IS DYING TO SELF.
When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy, nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances…THAT IS DYING TO SELF.
When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart…THAT IS DYING TO SELF.
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”