It is essential for every Christian to know that in our relationship with Jesus Christ, what the Lord first expects of us is the Abandonment of Self. But, how to understand the concept of abandonment of self? And what is the place, the importance of abandonment of self in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
The answers to these questions will be the subject of this article whose title is: The abandonment of self in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
I – / Definition: The Abandonment of Self.
Abandonment of self is explained by the following terms: Humility and Disposition of the heart. Their definition, then, will lead us to understand what it is to abandon self, in the Christian context.
A – Humility
Literally, the feminine word ” Humility ”, according to the Dictionary of the French Academy 8th Edition, is a virtue that gives us the feeling of our weakness, which represses in us the movements of pride. He sometimes says himself, familiarly, for Deference, submission, lowering. In a spiritual sense, Humility is the foundation of all Christian virtues. Christian Humility goes to the point of self-contempt for God.
In other words, to be humble in the Christian context is to depend on God, to submit to the will of God in all things, and at all times is to be modest and straightforward, unpretentious, in everything and in every time. It is not aspiring to human and world glory. It is seeking the approval of God. It is to submit to the way, the word, and the will of God without hesitation. Accept humiliation when it is necessary for the glory of God.
B – Disposition of the Heart (To Be Disposed)
The expression, disposition of the heart, alludes to the disposition of mind and soul. It can result in a state of mind and soul. On the one hand, in the sense of the state of mind, it is the disposition of the moods, the psychology of a person. On the one hand, in the sense of the state of mind, it is about the psychic state – in particular emotional (mood, emotion, feeling, motivation, etc.); it is also an interior attitude. The state of mind is synonymous with the mentality. In other words, the disposition of the heart refers to mentality, morality, and will. To have a heart or a spirit or a willing soul is therefore to have a way of thinking glorifying God (a habit of thought) – to have the will to open one’s being and one’s life to God – to have a confident attitude towards right and justice.
From a Christian point of view, it is giving God the first place to God in our way of thinking, seeing, understanding, speaking, acting and making decisions, etc. In a word, God occupies the first place in our life, in our heart, and in our mind; let’s say in our whole being.
C – Understand the Meaning of the Abandonment of Self in the Christian Spirit
Through all of the previous, Abandonment of self in a personal relationship with Jesus means: to leave one’s life and one’s whole being in the hands of God – to exist for God – to recognize that we do not belong to ourselves, but instead to God. It is to realize that without God we are nothing. It is to live only by God, in God, and for God henceforth in all things and in all circumstances. It is to entrust our fate, our projects, all that belongs to God. It is to erase his person and let Christ live in himself. As the Apostle Paul could say, ” I was crucified with Christ; and if I live, it is no longer I who live, it is Christ who lives in me; if I now live in the flesh, I live in faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me. ” – Galatians 2:20.
In a broader sense, Paul emphasizes here that self-surrender (in the hands of Christ) means no longer belonging to oneself (although being in the flesh). Thus, it reflects the fact that our life now belongs exclusively to God when we agree to surrender ourselves to the hands of God.
Where is the importance of abandoning one’s life in the hands of God through Humility and the disposition of the Heart in a relationship with Jesus Christ?
II – The Importance of the Abandonment of Self in a Relationship with Jesus
A – The Importance of Humility in a Personal Relationship with Jesus
To be a good Christian, a close friend of God, one must practice humility in all things and in all circumstances. He who is humble will have a fear of God. And it is well to note that “the fruit of the humility and fear of the Lord is wealth, glory and life” (Proverbs 22: 4). Indeed, the importance of humility in a relationship with Jesus is at several points:
* God leads the humble in righteousness, He teaches the humble his way (Psalms 25: 9). Yet having a good relationship with Jesus Christ is walking in his ways and accepting his ways.
* God gives grace to the humble (James 4: 6). Without the grace of God, no relationship with Jesus can be useful, stable, and alive. Let the one who is humble therefore know that we get everything from God out of pure grace.
* Without Humility, no one can walk with God or have a good relationship with Jesus. Humility brings us closer to God and makes God our partner, our friend, our counselor, and our guide – then creates an atmosphere of peace and understanding between God and us. (Ephesians 4: 1-3 / Zephaniah 2: 3 / 1 Peter 5: 5).
Another passage on Humility : Job 5: 11 / Psalm 138: 6 / Proverbs 3: 34 / Proverbs 11: 2 / Proverbs 16:19 / Proverbs 15:33 / Proverbs 18: 2 / Acts 20: 18-19 / Philippians 2: 3 / Colossians 3: 12/1 Peter 3: 8.
B – The Importance of Disposition of the Heart in a Personal Relationship to Jesus
Knowing that to have a heart or a spirit, or a soul disposed of for the Lord, is to give him the first place and the first choice in everything: In a word, God occupies the first place in our world. Life, in our heart and in our mind, even in our whole being. To be willing for the Lord is to give access to God in our life without reservation. And from this comes innumerable importances:
* When God is the center of our lives, He transforms our way of thinking, acting, seeing, understanding, speaking, and making decisions – thus looking to Jesus Christ, on the ideal in life. So, God helps us understand life and some realities of life. More, it leads us on the paths of joy and happiness, and of faith, etc.
* When we give access to God to all our being: the Holy Spirit operates in us. Thus, he becomes our teacher (John 14:26), he convinces us with regard to sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16: 8). He will be our leader on the path of truth and lead us to Jesus (John 16: 13-14). God renews our understanding so that we may have a spirit of discernment and as to what he wants or wants from us (Romans 12: 2) – When our heart is willing to God: we have the will to contribute to the work of God (Exodus 35:29) or to apply ourselves to the work of God (Exodus 36: 2).
Other passages relating to the disposition of the heart: Galatians 5: 16-17, 22 / Proverbs 8: 14 / Psalm 51: 6 / Proverbs 3: 5-8.
• This is why we need to surrender ourselves to the hands of God: “We were dead by our trespasses and our sins …” (Ephesians 2: 1-2) – ” our entire head is sick, and our heart is suffering … Nothing is in excellent condition in us … ” (Isaiah 1: 5-6) – ” We are held back by the traps of Satan and subject to his will ” (2 Timothy 2:26): This is the sad spiritual condition in which we have been since we rebelled against God and without God from the Garden of Eden.
Faced with this wretched condition of our nature, the Lord, the Eternal God, wishes to heal us and to make us free. But since it requires a complete transformation of our nature, we must surrender ourselves entirely to it.
The importance of Abandonment of self in a relationship with Jesus is the first necessary step to get closer to God and to have an intimate and lasting relationship with God. In view of our sinful nature, we need to be transformed by the power of God, but without self-surrender, no transformation can be possible on the moral, mental, or spiritual levels, etc. Abandonment is the first and even the main gateway to God in our life. Abandonment of self is also the only key to the divine power to operate in us, with us, and through us.
Abandonment of self is, therefore, the beginning of every good relationship with Jesus. Whoever surrenders fully and honestly into the hands of God will see his relationship with Jesus Christ solidify (to have a solid foundation) and this will facilitate any activity or fulfillment.