Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Strange Phrase

Paul wrote in Romans, "I die daily." What a strange thing to say! How can one "die daily"? If you're dead, you're dead! You can't die again the next day! Of course, it's a metaphor. Paul was not speaking literally, but he was definitely speaking spiritually.

This passage came up when Psalm 116:15 caught my eye in a different way.
"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."
In the past I always supposed that to be in reference to a martyr's death or the death of an old saint who had walked with God many years and was now called Home to Glory. However, when I read the next verse along with it, I saw it in a new light.
"O Lord, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds."
For me to be "truly God's servant," I must die to myself--my will, my desires--and surrender or yield to His Holy Spirit Who lives in me. When I do this (on a moment-by-moment basis), I am "dying daily," as the Apostle Paul said.

When I accepted Christ, "I yielded myself to His tender embrace, and faith taking hold of the Word..." as the old hymn says ("The Haven of Rest"). Then what happened? "My fetters fell off and I anchored my soul! The Haven of Rest is my Lord!" And look back at verse 16 again (Psalm 116):
"...thou hast loosed my bonds."
How did this happen? By my simply yielding to Him, to His Holy Spirit power that is already living in me. Not by my trying harder to be good or to do right. It is nothing about me! All I do is yield, and I am free! Look at verses 13-14 of Psalm 116:
"I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord" (first step: salvation). "I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all people" (next step, and every step on the way to Heaven: yielding to Him)!
The Psalmist repeats it again in verse 18:
"I will pay my vows..."
To die daily is to yield. To "pay my vows" is to yield to Him Who loves me unconditionally and has only my good in mind (Romans 8:28)! In this case, I'd be crazy not to lay down and die!

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