“Like the sisters of Lazarus, sometimes we must experience a death to our own vision before we can catch a glimpse of God’s perfect plan.”
-Dr. Don Rauniker
“If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, how would you live differently today?” I’ve been asked that question on numerous occasions, and my answer is usually something along the lines of: “Tell everyone I care about what they mean to me, write out how and by whom I want my funeral conducted, and eat way too much gelato.”
I suppose that we would all live differently if we knew that today was our final day of life.
Then I read Mark 8:34: “When He [Jesus] had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Taking up the cross doesn’t mean just bearing a burden; someone taking up a cross is about to die. Though many did (and still do) give their lives for the truth of God, this command isn’t about a one-time death to self, but consistent self-sacrifice. This kind of denial of self, a dying to sin and self, is to be a part of my daily walk with Christ. The problem is clear: Though I’m a new creation in Christ, and who I was once is now dead (2 Cor. 5:17), those old habits and old patterns of who I was before Christ exert influence over my life now. I must die daily to those influences and live for Christ by His power.
So then, the pressing question is not, “If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, how would you live differently today?”
The more important question is this: “If you died to self each day, how would your entire life be different?”
To quote a great pastor from years ago, “Might we go to our own funerals” each day, dying to self and living for Christ.
What do you need to die to in order to live fully for Him?