by Travis Bryan III
Salvation from self (a.k.a. dying to self) happens when we let go of the shrub on the bank we’re so desperately hanging onto and allow ourselves to be swept away by the torrents of the river of death. We let go of the many things to which we cling to in order to try to save ourselves and then FALL into God.
We DO NOT CLIMB UP into God. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door (the cross) into the sheepfold, BUT CLIMBETH UP some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door (the cross) is the shepherd of the sheep.” John 10:1-2. To climb up into God is to try to gain His approval and acceptance by human effort to keep rules. This is to live by law performances and not by grace.
We must FALL into God. This is true salvation. Salvation is something that happens to you. It is not something you do. God removes His protective hedge around us and allows the enemy to attack us. Bad things happen to us. We get pushed, knocked, shoved, jerked, tempted to fail, cast down and we thus FALL into God. God allows this for a good and redemptive purpose. The old self must FALL or be swept away otherwise we will always figure out a way to save our-selves.
We self-save from boredom, anxiety, peril, fear, worry, shame and guilt with lies, money, drugs, entertainment, sex, religiosity, pass words, pass gates, gated communities, guile, threats, coercion, retaliation, law suits, insurance, safety valves, backup plans, intellect, education, gimmicks, gurus, health fanaticism etc etc. You get the picture. We must ultimately be saved from all these self-salvation methods. We must be saved from the tyranny of self. We must be saved from saving ourselves. Death and resurrection with Christ is what saves us. Rom 6:3-7.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were pushed into and “FELL down bound” into the fiery furnace and, as a result, were then prospered, promoted, “loosed” and freed from what had bound them. Thru faith, they FELL down into victory. We also must sink down into death with Christ before God can turn it into a victory of resurrection. Daniel 3. We can only conquer Self by FALLING down into death with Christ.
Tomorrow, I go for my annual physical. The doctor may tell me I am sick. He may tell me I have cancer or am going to die. He will probably say I need to change my habits, things that seem so impossible for me. I can’t control what may happen when he runs his tests. I am afraid. I can’t save myself. I must have the faith to let go and FALL tomorrow; just FALL into the arms of God. Only He can save me. All my techniques and methods can’t save me from what the doctor may find or say. But God can. And even if I do die, God will certainly save me from that, too!
It’s like we are in a skiff rushing down the Niagara River headed toward the Falls. We must realize that the salvation of God can only be found at the BOTTOM of the Falls. Don’t try to save yourself. Don’t reach out to grab a tree on the bank to save yourself. Don’t try to break your fall. Just let go and let God! Life springs out of death, power is perfected in weakness. We must all undergo the FALL. After several falls, we can even get to the point of enjoying the fall. When you face one of your phobias, just walk right on into it. Faith it! Let go of self-saving. Present your body as a living sacrifice!
For a just man FALLETH seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. Prov 24:16. Everyone must FALL into the deep depths of the cross and burial with Christ. Believers, the faithful, are saved thru the depths. Unbelievers, the rebellious, are destroyed by it! Launch out into the deep!
And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us FALL now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. 2 Sam 24:14
In Jer 21:9, God’s people were told that if they wanted to live they should go out and “FALL” to the enemy Chaldians but if they remained held up inside their fort, clinging to their carnal weapons, they would die. This way of victory is totally counter-intuitive to worldly thinking. We must surrender in order to live. Fighting hard only leads to death. It’s just like Romans 12:1-2: if you want to live for God you must present your body as a living sacrifice! Self-preservation techniques only lead to death.
Finally, in Acts 27:40, those on board the ship in the terrible storm were advised to cut away their anchors and sever the ship rudder bands, giving up control, turning themselves and their vessel over to the high sea waves and winds, in order to survive the great tempest of the sea. This again is a great picture of what it means for us to let go and FALL into God.