This morning I was working on my Bible Study and ran across a very good point and I thought I would share it with those of you keeping up with the NLD blog. The Bible study is Beth Moore’s newest study entitled Esther, It’s Tough Being A Woman. Today’s lesson was called, “The High and Low of Ego”. The portion that really struck me dealt with what we teach here at NLD about realizing that we are crucified with Christ and that we are to deny self/flesh and follow Him. Today’s study centered around Esther 5:9-10 and Haman’s rage at Mordecai’s refusal to bow down to him. Here was her quote that spoke to me….”Amid all the depravity of this world, man is still God’s prized creation and most valued treasure. Christ’s purpose in calling us to deny ourselves is that we’d deny our selfishness, ambition, pasts, or any damaged emotions the right to cheat us of His far higher plans for us.” Wow…is that not the truth? Our flesh, if left to run it’s own course would so rob us of experiencing all of the life that Christ has called us to. My flesh wants to cheat me out of experiencing Father’s highest plans for me, God’s love for me and God’s work in and through me. I have made it my utmost priority to so walk with God and allow His healing in my life that I can experience all of the freedom that He died on the cross to purchase for me. It is our own hang ups, damaged emotions and sins (which is any way that I am trying to get a legitimate need met in a illegitimate way) that keep us from experiencing the victorious christian life. In the study we learn that God knows that “nothing leaves us more hollow than being full of ourselves. We have no greater burden than our own egos.” She goes on to add that we have nothing more breakable than our own ego’s as well.
2 Corinthians 4:10-12 helps us understand why we are called to this thing the New Testament calls the crucified life. “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that His life may be revealed in our mortal body. So, then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” The point of my study this morning was that any time God calls us to die, His purpose is to reveal larger life. She mentions that “God’s forte is life. He’s just not willing to leave things dead. A paramount theme in Esther is what God can do when we resolve to obey and ‘if I perish, I perish'”. Before I can be used of God I must be full of God and I can’t be full of God when I am full of myself. The antidote for our ego’s….knowing your IDENTITY IN CHRIST! When I know who I am in Christ, the position I hold, the benefits, privileges and inheritance that comes with my relationship with Christ – I’m finally SECURE! What a safe place! What a loved place! What a place of perfect peace regardless of what others say or think about me! Knowing who I am frees me up to have a correct estimation of myself. My friend – do you know that if you have relationship with Christ you are no longer a sinner? Your IDENTITY changed! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says you are a new creation. Paul calls us “Saints in Christ Jesus” over 60 times in the New Testament! Let me tell you who you are my friend….listen up….If you are a Christian you were a “Sinner” and now you are as we say here at NLD a “Saint who sometimes sins” Romans says you were “in Adam” now you are “in Christ”. You have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light! If your emotions aren’t lining up with this new truth just yet….it is because you have been believing a lie for way to long and your mind needs to be renewed to the truth of God’s Word – Romans 12:1-2.
So….what is it in your flesh that needs to die in order for you to live in larger life?