This process of learning to become godly women is a VERY painful process – especially at first. There are no short cuts!!
It is all about our relationship with Christ. It is about our willingness to reverence and submit to Jesus and to desire Him FAR ABOVE all other things of this world. That is the entire crux of the matter! My motives matter here! If I am trying to obey God just to get the feelings I want or the “stuff” I want (my husband’s full attention, romance, happiness, a lovely house, children, etc…), I have missed the entire point!
I have to have pure motives – desiring to obey God’s Word out of reverence for and love for Christ alone.
What I am advocating is to completely expose your deepest soul to God and allow Him to search the darkest recesses with the blazing light of His Word. And then to allow God’s Spirit TOTAL access and grant Him complete Lordship and the ability to decide what stays and what goes. And anything He finds offensive – well, it simply has to go. No question.
God is Lord now, NOT ME! This means facing your deepest fears, challenging your definition of God, your understanding of His sovereignty, your true beliefs that govern your decisions and priorities, seeing the mountains of sin that you may not have even known were there, and being willing to part with all of that humbly before our mighty God. It means wrestling with God over those most painful issues and deciding whether you actually can trust Him or not.
Is He REALLY BIG enough?
This is DEEP, LIFE-CHANGING, PARADIGM SHIFTING stuff.
This is where you tear out everything from your heart but Christ and are willing to give up all that is dear to you – laying it on the altar to God. You die to your dreams, your desires, your wants, your goals and your plans. You embrace His will, His desires, His dreams, His goals, His plans and His life for you – even if that means not getting what you really wanted, and even if that means going through the “worst case scenario” in your mind.
You will have to personally wrestle with these questions and decide –
- Can I really trust God – the God of the Bible as He has revealed Himself, not as I want Him to be?
- Is He who He says He is?
- Is His Word true or not?
- Will I build my life on the Rock of Christ, His Word and His promises, or on the sinking sand of trusting SELF?
Let us be willing to die to ourselves! Let us joyfully give up our rights, our goals of happiness and all that we hold dear and cling only to Christ, out of thankfulness and profound gratitude for ALL He has done for us (paying our incalculable sin debt to God”)!
The thing is, you can’t be a godly woman on your own. You can’t just be quiet and smile and hold the raging ocean of sinful thoughts, emotions and negativity inside while you pretend to be “nice” on the outside. This journey requires a total heart change – regeneration that is only possible through God’s Spirit. Eventually, we don’t even THINK the sinful thoughts – because He has so transformed us.
It is a total heart change. By God’s power working in us and through Jesus’ work for us on the cross, we nail the old sinful self to the cross and recognize that it is crucified and buried with Christ. Then we put on the new man in Christ and receive all that Jesus has done for us. He gives us a new heart and transforms our thinking.
Ultimately, Jesus did ALL of the work for us on the cross to make us right with God. And ultimately, it is His power that gives us the ability to walk in obedience to Him moment by moment. It is ALL about Him working for us and living in us.
Lord, help us to lay down our desires and let us desire only what YOU desire in our lives and in this world. Let us desire NOTHING in heaven or earth besides You! If we do NOT have His Spirit – it is IMPOSSIBLE to be the women Jesus calls us to be. God’s Spirit alone is our power source!
Some women think that I am saying THEY alone are fully responsible for all the problems in their relationships and that I am expecting them to take 100% of the blame. This is NOT at all what I am saying. Men are all sinners, and so are women. Men have their own accountability and responsibility before God and will stand before Him one day – just as we will.
I am asking us to focus on our own responsibilities, our own sins and our side of our relationships because God holds us responsible for ourselves. We can’t control other people. We have to trust God to deal with them. And really, we can’t even change ourselves – but we can allow God the freedom and permission to change us and we can respond as He opens our spiritual eyes. So that is where we have to put our focus. That is where our power is! When we are cherishing sin in our hearts – we grieve and alienate the Spirit of God. We cannot have God’s power flowing full strength in us when we are embracing sin and getting cozy with it.
FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE BEEN ABUSED:
Please check out this post about how “dying to self” can be dangerously misunderstood.
I do want to mention – this is something we each choose to do ourselves. It is not appropriate for me to demand that another believer needs to “die to self” to do what I want him/her to do. I can’t force others to obey God. I can set a godly example. I can ask for what I need and desire. I can share my insights and perspective. But I don’t get to control other people or dictate to them what they should do.
My husband should be living wholeheartedly for Christ and leading and loving as Jesus did, laying down his life for me to portray the love of Christ. But it is not my place to say, “You need to die to yourself and do X, Y, and Z to lead me properly.” It is possible for me to try to manipulate my husband, or other believers, in this way, for my own selfish purposes.
QUOTES FROM E.M. Bounds – “The Necessity of Prayer”
- If you desire to pray to God, you must first have a consuming desire to obey Him.
- If you want free access to God in prayer, then every obstacle of sin or disobedience must be removed.
- Those who have never wept concerning their sins, have never really prayed over their sins.
- Until (the step of unquestioning obedience) is taken, prayer for blessing and continued sustenance will be of no use.
- Praying that does not result in right thinking and right living, is a farce.
- We must quit praying or our bad conduct.
– I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” – Galatians 2:20-21
– So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. – Galatians 5:16-24
Dying to Self Can Be Dangerously Misunderstood
Isn’t Loving and Respecting Myself Selfish and Wrong? – by Radiant