The Christian Life is One of Death to Self

Category: Excerpts, Video

The roots of our hearts have grown down into things, and we dare not pull up one rootlet lest we die. Things have become necessary to us, a development never originally intended. God’s gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by the monstrous substitution. – A. W. Tozer


Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it. Whoever loses his life will keep it. Brethren, it’s a place of death. That’s why it’s hard. Because when you surrender to Christ, Christ is militant about turning you into His likeness. And there is so much in you that must die. It is a place of death, and it’s a place that’s hard, and it’s place that’s going to confront us.

Listen to Tozer again, “There is within the human heart, a tough fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always to possess. It covets things with a deep and fierce passion. The pronouns ‘my’ and ‘mine’ look innocent enough in print, but their constant and universal use is significant. They express the real nature of the old Adamic man better than a thousand volumes of theology could do. They are verbal symptoms of our deep disease. The roots of our hearts have grown down into things, and we dare not pull up one rootlet lest we die.

Brethren you see, the thing is that when God saves us, He means for all of us to be on the altar. All of us. I don’t say all of us, numerically speaking. All of you. All. All your plans, and all your desires, and all your life. God will not allow His reign to be challenged. And brethren, you and I know it, our wills are strong. And our desire to do what we want to do, brethren, is strong.

Christianity is not about simply getting our theology right. We can get that idea, you know, “I got to believe right; I got all my doctrine down.” Brethren, what Jesus tells us over and over again is: “If you’re going to follow Me, I am going to take you on a death path. There is a cross to carry. And you know, we can look at it and say, “Well, not really. Not really. We don’t literally have to carry a cross out there to Golgotha, and actually be crucified.” But I would just ask you this: Would our Lord use the imagery if what He really meant is the Christian life is easy? Or would He probably use that if really the Christian life was going to be that hard.

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