Dying to self: God has the ultimate authority

There are 2 kinds of Christians: those who assume authority and those who give authority away.

Well, that’s not exactly accurate, but for my post today, it gives us an image in our heads that I want to focus on. There are also those who understand God’s authority and are careful with this in their lives. But they are not the ones I’m addressing.

authority in our lives belongs to God alone

When we think about Dying to Self, we always think about sacrificing.

  • we must set aside our wants
  • we must take up the needs of others
  • we must be willing to do what we don’t want to do

In all of this talk of dying to self (and it was Jesus who talked about it first, so it is an important concept), it is vital for us to remember this:

[clickToTweet tweet=”Dying to self is between God and me!” quote=”Dying to self is between God and me!”]

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of GodHonor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. 1 Peter 2:13-17 (emphasis mine)

Our submission in all things is to God, first, foremost and finally. No one has the right to take that authority for their own and I don’t have the right to give that authority to anyone but God.

Examples of BAD use of dying to self:

Example #1

Years ago my husband was taking Tae Kwon Do with our son. The sensi was a very forceful personality (think drill instructor) and basically told the students that he owned them. Kevin struggled with fear in this class until the Lord reminded him that God owned him, NOT this man. He was able to voluntarily give deference to his position of authority in this class, but that was all. This teacher didn’t own Kevin and never would. It completely changed the freedom with which he could enter the class! He was released: a son of God and owned by no man!

Example #2

In another church many years ago some of the leading ladies were planning a church library. One lady said they should ask one member to build bookcases for them. When I asked how much they were planning on paying him (he was a carpenter by trade), the reply was: “Oh, it will be ministry so we don’t have to pay him anything!” I said that the choice to make this ministry or not was his and his alone. WE couldn’t decide where livelihood ends and ministry begins for someone else. Only God can tell him. They didn’t get it.

Example #3

I was listening to the song Praise the Lord by the Imperials and this verse jumped out at me:

Now Satan is a liar and he wants to make us think, that we are paupers, when he knows himself we’re children of the King…

The enemy is seeking to use anything and everything to keep us living a lie and in defeat. Allowing anyone else to keep us living a lie falls right into the enemy’s destructive schemes.

For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face. 2 Cor. 11:20

When we try to make others die to self for our gain, we are usurping God’s authority in their lives and need to take cover because discipline is coming our way!

Living close to God’s heart protects His authority in our lives.

How many times do we listen to the words of others rather than the Spirit? It is easier and sometimes faster to have someone else tell us what to do (or to tell others what to do) than to go to the Lord in prayer and wait and listen. We always want instant response and, generally, people will give it to us.

The problem with this is that we end up walking outside of God’s will by giving up pieces of ourselves to others or taking pieces of others for our own. Either giving or claiming authority that ONLY belongs to God is contrary to our relation to God as sons!

Is God calling you into a deeper walk of dying to yourself? Then only He can tell you what that will look like in your life. Learn to snuggle into His lap and sit and listen to His heart. He is quite capable of telling you what He wants you to do each day, each moment… if only you’ll take the time to listen!

What ways have YOU given authority to another that should be God’s alone?

What ways have YOU taken authority from another that should be God’s alone?

Is it time to repent and change?

Don’t miss out on my previous posts in this series:

is self good or bad

Part 1 – Dying to self: what does it mean?

Are we living joyless? What is the solution?

Part 2 – Living joyless: Do I have to sacrifice more?

dying to self loving others

Dying to self Part 4 – loving others

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All Scripture quotations are taken from the NASB.
Unless otherwise indicated, photos from pixaby.com

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  1. This is so good, Kate! Fear and bullying . . . both rob our freedom in Christ! What a great reminder and I love your examples. They’re perfect! Thanks so much for hosting us here in this place each week. God bless you!

    • Thanks, Deb! I really appreciate your sharing these each week on Twitter! And for joining in the link-up! Have a great day, dear friend!


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