Today's message at church (I went to the new Barracks Row location today!) was about dying to self, but also what happens when we reach the end of our "event horizon"
Event Horizon - In general relativity, an event horizon is a boundary in spacetime beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer. (wikipedia.com)
So, it started out explaining that there comes a point in each of our lives that we will forever be doing what we have been doing and be who we have always been. That we have reached the end (so to speak) of ourselves and it takes something outside of ourselves (God) to move us past our limits.
Then Pastor Mark (Batterson) went on to explain that in order for God to move us we have to die to ourselves DAILY.
"saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day."
23And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
24"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.
25"For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself" - Luke 9:22-25
He went into details and explanations about how as humans we want to overcome things.. without actually having to overcome anything. And used the example of a man who sent him an email about being inspired by one of his books and how God used it to really motivate the man to get his health in order... which subsequently he lost 242lbs (that's more than an entire person!). But in order to do that he would have to essentially die to self (torture) himself at the gym daily, with the food he ate.. and he would not be able to do that without the help of the Lord to keep it going.
He also said that while the saying is "no pain, no gain" we in all honesty really just want "no pain.. no pain." We have this adverse reaction to avoiding pain.. regardless of what it would mean in the long run.
The message went on and on.. and was absolutely amazing.. but I really just want to focus on this part of the message...
Dying to myself daily. What would that look like in my own personal life?.. Oh gosh it could mean any number of things.. I think for each person it is something different. Some people it's food, alcohol, TV, etc..etc.. Really anything that needs to be given up, then gone to Christ in prayer asking Him to take it and do whatever He wants with it... Sometimes He will give it back.. and other times He will literally just want it to die out of your life. But, whatever it is will look different and be a different thing for each of us.
I don't know what mine is today.. or tomorrow. But, I really needed the reminder that it's time I begin focusing on dying to self again. I needed the kick in the gut to re-focus on God.. Which might sound funny since I pray and talk about God all the time.. But it is SO easy to have that always on my mind, but never really actually focus on the reality of what those actions would look like in my life.
Lord, help me die to self and learn what that looks like for me now. Give me the strength to follow through and follow YOU.