Monday, June 12, 2017

Losing Myself to Find Myself



The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become...
It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, 
that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.
C.S. Lewis

Wow!  I was first introduced to this C.S. Lewis quote when reading one of the final chapters in the book, Guarded by Christ:  Knowing the God who Rescues and Keeps Us, by Heather Holleman - a book I mentioned in a recent post, Looking for Peace in all the Wrong Places, as the book I've been waiting for my whole life, besides the Bible of course.

I found this concept so profound.  The more I let God take me over, the more truly myself I become.  By turning to Christ and giving up myself to His personality it is then that I will first begin to have a real personality of my own...   

I LOVE THIS!  Our true identity is in Christ Jesus so it would stand to reason that when we turn to Christ and give up ourselves to His personality that indeed we truly become ourselves and begin to  have our own real personalities, the personality of Christ.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. 
And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, 
who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galations 2:20

The author of Guarded by Christ shared a practical exercise to help her truly crucify the flesh and "keep in step with the Spirit".  She would confess those behaviors and attitudes which stemmed from her sinful nature and asked Jesus to once again empower and direct her by the Holy Spirit.  She shared a litany of besetting sins that plagued her  - besetting sins that I could relate to and I'm sure you could too.  She called this list of sinful characteristics her "false self" and as such learned to confess them when they reared their ugly head and to reorient herself to a Spirit-directed life.  She said that she "exchanged this broken down, hopeless soul for a new life in Christ.  He's living in  my soul, and by faith, this is happening all day long.  I don't have to live this day on my own, because Jesus is living it through me.  I think of my soul as crucified with Christ, I think of how I'm now alive in a different kind of way...I think of now being alive to Christ and not myself."

Yes!! And Amen!!!

The crucified life is truly the abundant life Jesus desires us to live.

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
John 10:10

I confess that the crucified life seemed to me a life filled with sacrifice and suffering.  Sacrificing the "things I wanted to do" and suffering because of self-sacrifice.  How utterly sad...  Jesus sacrificed Himself for me, yet I don't want to give up those fleeting pleasures of life!   I can't believe I'm sharing this ugly truth about myself... but I needed to share this warped thought process so that you would fully understand the absolute freedom and release from bondage I now feel  as I understand what it truly means to live the crucified life - the abundant life.

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.  What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world yet forfeit their soul?  
Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
Matthew 16:24-26

Indeed, the crucified life is one that allows God to completely take over and do anything He wants with us...

But God, being rich in mercy and love, will never do with us that which brings harm, but only that which speaks of Divine Love through and through.

I spoke more about this aspect of the abundant life in last week's post The Circle of Comfort.

Heather shared in her book that "living a crucified life is a daily choice to let Jesus take over every part of you, including your desires and dreams.  It includes telling Jesus each new morning that you belong completely to Him to use as He pleases.  It involves yielding your right to yourself and giving authority to Jesus."

Heather went on to say that, "we don't need to be scared or somehow concerned that we are giving up a better life to follow Jesus, but that we gain our real lives when we deny it for Christ."  

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
John 14:6a

so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
1 Timothy 6:19b


The only time we truly live is in Him.

I need to let that sink in...

To live is Christ Philippians 1:21

I must let go of everything false in my life, that which is not based on Truth...

Let go of those things that I think bring true happiness and peace...

Let go of the desires of the flesh

Let go of vanity and false personas

Let go of self

For it is through the very things I am holding on to for life that cause me to not truly live! And frankly, I feel it...

Of late I just feel like I am wasting the life God gave me.  And at my current age, that is pretty significant.  I have been feeling unhappy, discontent and depressed.   I am certainly not redeeming the time.

Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk, 
not as unwise but as wise,
 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.…
Ephesians 5:15-17

But I have now learned that in letting go and truly crucifying that which is false in my life, I truly gain everything!

I gain true contentment, happiness and peace

I gain the desires of the Spirit

I gain my real personality, Christ's personality

I gain my real self, hidden in Christ Jesus

I gain abundant life!

May we all let go of that which is false in our lives to gain that which is True - the abundant, joy-filled, God-Glorifying, crucified life.


You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me Grace, Testimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday, Reflect His Love and Glory  Words of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI SaturdaysSitting Among Friends Encourage Me Monday Words with Winter Essential FridaysSo Much at Home Family, Friendship & Faith House to Home  ,Wonderful Wednesday , Monday of Many BlessingsLiteracy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceSHINE Blog Hop Dance with JesusGive Me GraceBooknificent Thursdays UNITE Cozy Reading SpotMaking Your Home Sing Monday Social Butterfly Sundays  Let Us Grow Small Wonder Link-up Winsome Wednesday Growing in Grace Thursday After My CoffeeRewind Friday Fresh Market Friday Moments of Hope Wonderful Wednesdays Christian Blogger Link-Up Tea & Word Tuesday Heart Encouragement Thursday Hearts for Home Messy Marriage Link-up Friday at the Fire Station Link-up Tune In Thursday Faith on Fire Link-upSunday Scripture Blessings Link-up, Warriors of the WordCandidly Christian Link-upSunday ThoughtsWriter WednesdayFaith Filled Friday




42 comments:

  1. We are nothing without Christ; thank you for this wonderful post, and reminders that through Christ, we have everything we need, and He is our all and all. Visiting you today from Good Morning Mondays link up. God bless you

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    1. Jennifer, You are welcome! :-)

      So glad you stopped by!

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  2. Karen, I love reading C.S. Lewis quotes, they seem to inspire me. I love that God gives us the wholeness we need to discover who we truly are. In the presence of God all of our fears and the lies we believe fade away because there is only room for love and truth. Thank you for your encouraging words, I'm visiting you today from Monday Soul Survival Linkup.

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    1. Debbie, Thank you for leaving this thoughtful comment to add to the conversation. I appreciate it!

      You are welcome. :-)

      Delete
  3. I love that C.S. Lewis quote as well. Such a profound truth. God doesn't make us less ourselves, but more ourselves, when we die to him. This is good: "But God, being rich in mercy and love, will never do with us that which brings harm, but only that which speaks of Divine Love through and through." Thanks for sharing this, Karen!

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    1. Lisa, Thank you so much for taking the time to write a thoughtful comment. I appreciate it!

      You are welcome!

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  4. What a great quote by C.S. Lewis! I love this truth and I'm excited to see who I become in Him. It's like opening a gift at Christmas every day :)
    I'm so glad I'm your neighbor at #InspireMeMonday

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    1. Julie, Indeed and Amen!

      I'm glad you were my neighbor too!

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  5. Dear Karen,
    I heartily thank you for such and inspiring and encouraging post, you've truly made my day !

    Wishing you a most lovely remainder of your week,
    I'm sending blessings of joy to you

    XOXO Dany

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    1. Dany, You are very welcome! Praising God that your day has been made. :-)

      Thank you sweet friend. Same to you!

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  6. Love the C.S. Lewis quote too. It's so true Karen that we have to lose ourselves to find ourselves. I'm so glad to have learned that lesson.

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    1. Deborah, Thank you so much for stopping by. I enjoyed your visit! :-)

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  7. Seems so opposite, doesn't it? Lose your life in order to gain it.

    Yet, if we could only see things the way He sees them, I'm sure we'd be amazed to see we are getting. Such. A. Deal!

    He probably shakes His head at the pitiful things I try to hold onto ...

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    1. Jerralea, I know! As a new believer, I was always puzzled by that verse. But seeing it for the Truth it conveys, there is such freedom in it!

      Lol. Indeed!

      Yes, like a meme I saw over the winter where Jesus is talking to a little girl who doesn't want to give up her teddy bear, but Jesus has a huge teddy bear behind his back to give her in place of it. If only we could remember that Jesus ALWAYS has a bigger teddy bear just waiting for us if we would get out of our own way.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. I love this! And I love the CS Lewis quote. So many times we try to fit God into our own personalities, without letting Him establish them first. Great thoughts here.

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    1. Carol, I'm only just now becoming familiar with C.S. Lewis quotes. I have yet to read any of his books, although I've heard so much about them. I need to change that! lol.

      Thanks for your kind comment.

      Blessings,

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  9. What a great quote! Love it! Honestly, I've never read a CS Lewis quote I didn't love!

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    1. Becky, :-)

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  10. Karen, those words from Lewis are so profoundly true. How much time we waste with our eyes on ourselves!

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    1. Michele, Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. I appreciate it. :-)

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  11. Such beautiful truth you have shared here! I love that CS Lewis quote, and need to check out that book you mentioned!

    The crucified life seems backwards to our flesh, but whoever loses his life gains it.

    Blessings, Misty

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    1. Misty, Thank you so much for sharing in the conversation. I appreciate it! :-)

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  12. What a great C.S. Lewis quote! My word for this year is die, so I can totally relate to all the giving up of self here. ;)

    Thanks for sharing these truths at Literacy Musing Mondays.

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    1. Brandi, Oh! Such an interesting word of the year, but such an important one, really for all of us.

      You are very welcome!

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  13. Replies
    1. Thank you for your very kind words! Praising God for His leading.

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  14. Love this post, I too am going to be praying this into my life. thanks so much for sharing.

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    1. Stephanie, I'm so glad!

      You are very welcome.

      Your words have blessed me. :-)

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  15. "The more I let God take me over, the more truly myself I become." I have found this to be true. When I trust and follow his leading, I become more of who I really am.

    Blessings to you, Karen! I'm a neighbor at #DanceWithJesus and #FreshMarketFriday.

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    1. Gayl, Thank you for sharing in the conversation. I appreciate it!

      I am so glad you were my neighbor. :-)

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  16. Karen, I love how you broke this down. In all our pursuits it turns out the way we find ourselves and our purpose is by laying down our lives. This is so powerful!

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    1. Marva, Thank you very much for your kind words. I appreciate them so much.

      Blessings,

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  17. Karen, I once taught an English course on CS Lewis. He will always be my favorite. Thank you for sharing this on the #sundaythoughts link up!

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    1. Jamie, Oh! That must have been very thought-provoking and edifying!

      You are welcome! :-)

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  18. Finding myself is sometimes not a good reflection as Christ leads me to who I should be and/or should have always been, but when letting go and finding myself - it is a much better picture of a human. Love One Another....if we allow ourselves to reflect on that alone, we will find ourselves in Christ and be the best we can be. It's just that human self that wants to be in control. For me, reading and reflecting the word helps. As always, a work in progress. :) Your post is a great reminder.

    Peabea@Peabea Scribbles

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    1. Pea Bea, Thank you for leaving your insights and what life has taught you.

      Indeed and Amen.

      Thanks so much for leaving such a thoughtful comment. I appreciate it!

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  19. I really want to read this book Guarded by Christ that you keep mentioning. It sounds amazing! Thanks so much for linking this up at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com this week!
    Tina

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    1. Tina, You won't be disappointed! It is definitely a different type of book. It wasn't what I expected, but when she explains her approach, it makes all the sense in the world or at least it did to me. :-)

      You are welcome!

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  20. Thank you for sharing what Christ is teaching you and convicting you of. I also struggle with laying down my comfort yet my Father gave his own Son to die for me. What true love!

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    1. Lindsey, You are welcome.

      Thank you for sharing your own struggles.

      Amen! And Praise God, He understands our struggles.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  21. Such a powerful quote and something to really chew on!

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    1. Crystal, Indeed it is!

      Thanks for stopping by. :-)

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Thank you for taking the time to comment.