In Order To Live, You Have To Die

In Order To Live, You Have To Die

The importance of dying to self in order to gain life in Jesus.

I was so excited for what God had for me at college. I knew that He was going to use me in extraordinary ways and that He would give me the ability to led others to Him. For about two weeks, I was waiting patiently for the opportunity. I was ready to meet my new best friends who would lead me in the right direction and hold me accountable. I was ready to start singing in a local church and form relationships there. I was waiting.

Pretty soon, I discovered another side of college. I found my new best friends but instead of going to church with them, I was going out to bars with them. I was so eager for the weekend to come so I could live my new life of freedom. I got further off the track that I had worked so hard to build in 3 months than I knew was even possible. The shame and regret that was built up inside of me was overtaking my life. I had the opportunity to represent Jesus and gave it up for things that were unbelievably lesser.

I felt like the God that I once knew so well wanted nothing to do with me – and I didn’t blame him. It felt like the movies where a girl ditches her true friends to be popular. I imagined God standing outside watching while I was at parties and enjoying my new lifestyle. But the thing about the movies is that the true friends never leave.

As much as I try to fight it, God has called me higher. He has placed a longing in my heart for something much more than what this earth can offer me. He was with me while I was forging my own path and He is with me while I try to find my way back. The devil tried to use things of the earth to make me forget why I am here but His spirit was stronger.

In order to live, you have to die. You have to lose your life – your interests, your desires, your comfort – in order to receive life from the Father.

Dying to self. Denying yourself momentary happiness to find everlasting joy in Jesus. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and him with me.” He wants us. He desires us. He is constantly reaching out to know us deeper.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” Isaiah 40:8. We have been placed on the earth for one life with one purpose. He will equip us to do what He has created us to do. Our bodies are grass and flowers that will diminish upon His return. The best thing we can do with our lives is give them completely to Jesus.

As important as it is to do well in school or to work hard to get the promotion, never forget why you’re here. Whether you accept the call on your life from the beginning, or you have to get so far off track that you need Him to lead you back to His path, I promise that He won’t give up. His love is fierce and uncontained.

So take a minute in the midst of the busy season and reflect on how much room God has to work in your life. I used to get so frustrated when I wouldn’t see Him working but in order for him to come in, I have to take my own selfishness out of the equation. The verse doesn’t say, “Behold, I break into your house and eat with you.” It says, “If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.” Let Him in.

In order to live, you have to die.

Cover Image Credit: Whitney Weldon

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.

Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

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When You Read Your Bible And Pray Every Day You Will See Yourself Grow, Grow, Grow

I notice a difference in me when I don't read my Bible and pray every day.


Whenever I hear someone talking about reading the Bible every day, my mind goes back to a song I sang in Sunday School. "Read your Bible, pray every day and you'll grow, grow grow." Whenever we said grow, we would stand up taller and taller, eventually standing on a chair and trying to reach the ceiling. Quite funny right? Yes, but how much truth exists in this silly song as well.

A relationship is built on communication between two people. You wouldn't have much of a relationship if you didn't talk to the other person. The same principle exists in your relationship with God. We are able to talk to God through prayer, and God wrote the Bible as a means of communicating with us. Because of this, it is important to read the Bible and pray every day.

I feel really inadequate in writing this article on this topic because I know how much I struggle with consistency in this area. These things don't become a habit on accident. You must practice this on purpose in order for it to become an effective, lasting trait in your life.

I can tell a difference in a day when I don't read the Bible and when I do. I've found myself to be more joyful when I spend some time reading and meditating on a few verses and talking to God about whatever is on my mind. It sets my focus on things above rather than myself, which is something I have struggled with to be quite honest. I find it interesting that so many Christians find it difficult to have a consistent time with the Lord, myself included. It could be a matter of priority and where Jesus falls on that. I know I've been guilty many times of placing other things before God and they thus become idols.

The song then says, "Neglect your Bible, forget to pray and you'll shrink, shrink, shrink." As we say "shrink" we begin crouching down closer and closer to the ground. It's still quite silly, but a lot of truth is evident. It's a good object lesson to what happens when we don't communicate with God in our relationship and become stagnant. We stop communicating with the Lord and eventually our sin doesn't bother us as much. There's not as much conviction there, so we don't confess it. Then, our fellowship with God breaks and we continue to make more worldly choices.

Whenever I don't read my Bible and pray for a day, I notice how much of my flesh is evident. I get angrier a lot quicker and my patience is a lot less evident. Anxiety and worry are often a lot more evident. All these things aren't of God. He gives the spirit of peace. That's not to say that communicating with the Lord well will never put you in a place where you don't feel at peace. We still are in need of God's sufficiency amongst our insufficiency. It just amplifies how sinful our nature is and how holy Christ is.

I hope this is an encouragement for someone in their walk with the Lord. Maintaining a strong relationship with Him isn't always easy, even though it should be a Christian's top priority. It's amazing at how gracious God has been to me in spite of all the times I've failed Him and wasn't as close as I once was. His grace is still good enough for you friend. Believe me.

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