Overcome Self. Embrace God.

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.’” –  Proverbs 16:18

We all could have tight personal relationships with God … if it weren’t for ourselves.

Why is this?

God’s ability to do the impossible and miraculous is unquestioned. The Bible is filled with moments that create a sense of awe. Just ask Moses!

You’d think we would do everything possible to get closer to God. Yet, we frequently push him away. Again – why?

Increasingly, the world around us turns from the beliefs and practices that God has ordained. We should seek to overcome these earthly denials.

Except, it’s hard. Going against the popular grain sets us up for ridicule and rejection. Sin plays into the equation, too. Lawlessness abounds in our hearts to do that which we know isn’t right.

Our pursuit of success – at least, how we define it – can be all consuming. We become our own law, and justify it to ourselves. A public face of success can hide a private life in turmoil. Slowly, surely, we get eaten away from inside.

The Barrier is Staring from the Mirror

And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.Acts 5:32

We have a key to unlock the door to God. Barriers, however, lie between us and the door. Are we willing to get through them?

The chief hurdle is overcoming our dominant sense of self. We must let go of ego. Think of ourselves less. Prepare to surrender our lives to Christ. Be righteously bold as a lion.

The path isn’t easy. It’s filled with obstacles of pride and arrogance. Satan lurks around every corner, seeking to derail God’s disciples in a vulnerable moment.

Only by taking up the cross can we overcome “self,” the dominant roadblock between us and Christ. Long ago, God humbled himself by coming to us in the flesh, as Jesus. We should be willing to similarly reduce our self-perceived importance.

Just as Christ did by assuming a bodily form, we have to obey God. Doing so requires a burning desire inside us. Maybe the biggest step is cooperating with God, accepting His instruction and changing our lives accordingly. Who said this would be easy?

Do You – Will You – Have Faith?

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.” – 1 John 5:4

The Bible repeatedly tells us to “have faith.” We receive salvation through faith. Yet faith is an invisible entity, present and still hidden to the eye.

Faith can be hard to hang onto. Many elements of sinful worship, unfortunately, aren’t. Money, for example, amplifies every desire we have in life – good or bad. It’s easy to fall into the trap of pursuing more and more.

Controlling its pull can be challenging indeed. As Romans 6:16 observes, “you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey.” Is this shiny object secretly laced with sin?

We overcome sin through faith in Christ. Doing so requires cooperation with God. He directs how we should live. We should act accordingly.

We might have to hit rock bottom to recognize this necessity. We finally grasp that sin took us there. Lucky for us that God is the ultimate giver of second chances – and, for most people, many, many more.

A close relationship with God beckons … if we are willing to toss away the bondages of self and ego. Peace of mind, and heart, is possible. It’s all up to us. God awaits – just as He always has, and always will.

(If you’re ready to embrace Christ, He’s ready for you. Visit C-Suite for Christ to join in Christ-centered fellowship with other professionals. Join us as a member. Plant a chapter where you live. Consider becoming a corporate partner. Follow C-Suite for Christ on LinkedIn and Facebook. Questions? Contact Paul M. Neuberger at (414) 313-8338 or pneuberger@csuiteforchrist.com.)

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