The Christian life is meant to be one where we die to self, where we get self out of the way so that we can be filled with God. The more of us that is in the way, the less of Him we can fit in.
Jesus makes this very clear in Mark 8:34-37 when He says, “Anyone who intends to come with Me has to let Me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow Me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, My way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?” (The Message)
I know for me it can be very difficult to let Jesus take over. Or at least in some things it can be difficult. Some areas it’s quite easy but in other areas, it can be a real challenge. But He wants to lead us in all things.
I also find it interesting that part of getting self out of the way involves the ability to embrace suffering. That is not something we generally jump up and down about. But that isn’t what Jesus is really asking from us either. What He is asking is that we embrace it in such a way that we know He is in control.
Another key way we get self out of the way is to banish the idea of “self-help.” Self-help books, seminars and classes are usually very popular because we like the idea of having some sense of control over what happens. But when we look instead to the very One who created us, we find that all the answers lie there.
You can only fill yourself with the things of God when you have first removed yourself. So if you want more of Him, there needs to be less of You.