“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”—John 12:24-25
When Satan rebelled, there were now two “wills” in the universe. From now on, one of God’s creatures would oppose the Almighty—unsuccessfully, to be sure—in all that he would do. And a drop of Satan’s rebellion has fallen on every human heart. If we expect to be mightily used by God, there must be a time when we “die to self” as the saying goes. This means that we are no longer driven by our reputations, our successes, or by our possessions. Only one thing matters: God and His glory.
Just imagine: all jealously ends, all complaining ends, and we no longer compete with others because we want to “show them a thing or two!” We are content with where God has placed us and we no longer strive to be recognized, praised, or admired.
This dying to self is both an act and a process. Or, perhaps more accurately, it happens through many acts of dedication and surrender. We come to a point where we no longer fight with God and chafe under His mighty hand.
In Egypt, grain was found in the pyramids that had been lying in dry darkness for thousands of years. The grain grew when put into soil with water and sunshine! The life was in the kernels for thousands of years but they remained alone and could not bear fruit because they had not “died.” Jesus wants us to “fall into the soil” and “die,” so to speak, so that the life of the Holy Spirit can break forth within us.
The result? Jesus said, “We bear much fruit.”
Let Us Pray
Father, I pray that I might finally come to the end of self-rule. I confess that I am driven by the need for the approval of others, the need to be recognized, and the need to assert myself for my own good and self-aggrandizement. Today, I lay all that at Your feet and pray that I might die to my own self-generated plans; may only Yours matter.
I also pray for ____ and ask that they might be brought in submission before You. I pray that You will bring circumstances into their lives that will force them to lay down the weapons of a rebel and submit to Your authority and Lordship. Like a seed with no agenda of its own, may they be willing to die and let You grow them for Your glory and honor.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.