Contemplate the fact that when God calls you to serve Him, He calls you to deny your own flesh and the entire world system that surrounds to follow Him while changing inwardly to the point of bringing death to your most intimate and base desires. When you realize that, you conclude naturally that you need God’s help in order to follow Him.
In Philippians 2:3, God commands: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory;”
If we think about what is natural for an unbeliever, and what people without Christ do, we find that almost everything that is done by unbelievers IS done through strive and vain glory.
Worldly people spend their lives complaining, competing, worrying, bragging, arguing, fighting, and living in agitation.
If you live your life constantly looking out for yourself and trying to prove yourself and make sure you get “what you deserve,” then you are living like the world. Your lifestyle is not only one of disobedience, but also one of incredible stress and agitation.
God says, “Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory. . . “
How are we to live then? We are to live in “lowliness of mind,” while we “esteem other better” than ourselves. When you’re humble, you don’t have anything to prove. If you consider someone to be better than you, then you aren’t concerned if they think the same. And if you deny your desire for vain glory, and live to see God glorified, then you never need to obsess over whether or not the credit is going where it’s due. God will get all the glory no matter what. Just a side note: Living humbly is living peacefully.
Gods’ command to us is to conclude that our benefits, and our comfort, and our pleasure, and our fair share of (whatever we “deserve”) are all inconsequential to the Glory that God deserves. The next few verses in Philippians 2, call us to have the mind of Christ and humble ourselves to the point of death.
Unless you’re facing martyrdom for your faith, I don’t think God is calling you to literally die. It’s a word picture. Think about it, does anybody want to die? Most people want to live. In fact, if a person desires death, they are usually unstable.
God’s calling to us: to deny ourselves, would appear like complete insanity to the world.
In fact, God tells us that, “the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” – 1 Corinthians 1:18
So I challenge you, surrender to the call of humility unto death. Take the path to lowliness that the world has labeled insane. Choose to forfeit your “rights” and live a life of peace and obedience. You can’t do it by yourself, so God has promised to help you. All you must do is decide.
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” – Philippians 2:13