This past weekend I celebrated my 21st birthday with some friends down on the beach. I came back 1) without my glassses (lost them in the ocean, this would only happen to me of course) and 2) sunburnt really bad. Day 3 post baking, my skin has begun to peel and rid itself of the old skin. My face has taken the worst of it, so I'm attempting to resurrect my skin.
Got me thinking about how we die to ourselves to become alive in Christ.
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we dies with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know what since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:6-11
Dying to myself which in my mind goes hand in hand with surrender is a common theme in my walk. Since I set out 3 years ago to follow God all the way, I continue to come back to these points. I hold Stephen (Acts 6-7) in high regard, because in Stephen, I see the end goal. To be Christ as though He'd taken the place of my mortal body. Stephen reached this point, because he layed down everything, putting God above all. We see no mention of whatever sins he struggled with, whatever weaknesses he had, because being totally immersed in Christ those things are no longer evident. They are swallowed up by the light of the risen Lord radiating outward.
That is the race I run. To reach this goal. But there yet remains weights I must cast off, that I must say goodbye to, to run even faster while my legs have it in them. In no particular order
-Sharing my burdens with others
-Putting God above my own desires and dreams
-Doing His will and not my own
-Loving Him with all my heart
I pray that as my desire grows, that I would leave all else behind and run with every ounce within me to Christ, and then run one step behind until the race is finished.