Proverbs 28:6 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.
The thing we want the least is to die, but the thing we want the most is to be with our Lord. To get the most, we will have to eventually submit to the least thing we want. So, how do we get the most in this lifetime so that we can courageously meet the demands of the least thing wanted? The Lord teaches that we should die to ourselves while we are in this world so that we can live forever through the redemptive gift of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote a fair amount in his epistles on the subject of dying to ourselves. Paul taught, that by dying to ourselves we can live here, and eventually live eternally with our God. Phil. 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Dying to self starts when we accept the gift of God’s salvation through Christ. Therefore, the least we can do is realize that accepting Jesus as our Lord, is the most substantial decision we could make on this side of eternity. Dying to self is not a popular subject in a world where everyone is continually being pressured to get the most out of this commercially driven system by acquiring an endless amount of plastic ready-made stuff and limitless merchandise to become satisfied and happy. The world’s message is, “Don’t die to yourself, but rather, give yourself everything imaginable.” However, God says to live by His spirit and not the cravings of the flesh. Rom. 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Whether it is life’s momentum or of shrewd design, there is a permanent campaign at work to instill dissatisfaction within our hearts to notice what we do not have. Crowds of people are being sold a bill of goods that causes wanton cravings for whatever is deemed to be missing in there lives, and these same people end up investing their energies into the wrong areas of life to obtain fulfillment. Hag. 1:9 You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. While chasing the most within the world, those who strive within this manner of living, end up with the least satisfaction and personal validation, because the world cannot give what is of eternal worth.
We are told by the advertising world that if we get everything we can wish for, we will live dignified lives and reach the pinnacles of pure happiness because we have everything we want. Although throughout history, this theory has proven to be wrong over and over again. We keep chasing the stuff rather than what the Lord offers us through His love. The questions we need to ask ourselves are, “Why do I need more stuff if my heart’s desire is to be with the Lord? Why do I put so much emphasis on acquiring more of what the world has? How can I want what God wants for me and fulfill what I was created to do?”
It truly is a life-living balancing act to keep our eyes upon Jesus and continue paying the bills to live on this earth. This is why the joy of the Lord has to be our strength. The joy in stuff is short-lived. The joy of the Lord strengthens our souls as we walk closer with our God. Crucifying the flesh is a full-time job of faith but needed so that we are not consumed by what the flesh wants outside of God’s will. Our integrity in the Lord is paramount. Prov. 28:6 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.
We who are in Christ, have the most wonderful saviour. If you find yourself in a position of having the least amount of joy, love, and satisfaction, then give God the mess you are in, and let Him bring the most love, peace, and strength you have ever known to your heart and life. Thank you, Father, for giving us the very best of your heart. Blessings and peace be upon us all.