The following paragraph was written as a warning to pastors. I don't think it ends with pastors though. Read carefully and see if there isn't something for you in the words below.
If you are ever going to be an ambassador in the hands of a God of glorious and powerful grace, you must die. You must die to your plans for your own life. You must die to your self-focused dreams of success. You must die to your demands for comfort and ease. You must die to your individual definition of the good life. You must die to your demands for pleasure, acclaim, prominence, and respect. You must die to your desire to be in control. You must die to your hope for independent righteousness. You must die to your plans for others…You must die to the pursuit of your own glory in order to take up the cause of the glory of Another…You must die to your unfaltering confidence in you. You must die.
-Paul Tripp, Dangerous Calling, pp. 189-190 (HT: Justin Buzzard)This passage isn't just for pastors is it. The ideas Dr. Tripp gives regarding dying to ourselves are transferable to people in all situations. I don't think it can be stated enough to Christians about how high the calling is to die to our own wants, desires, ideas, plans and paradigms in favor of what God may want to do in us. Our culture's influence is so strong and so silent that unless we are very intentional about it, we will succumb to the patterns of the world rather than seeking the desires of God.
Here's my challenge. Think back over the last 30 days. How many times did you truly die to yourself because you sensed God was calling you to something else? I'd love to hear your stories in the comments.