Diane Epling

Setting Aside Self

Diane Epling


Have you ever wondered what is the root cause of our separation from God? Some might point to pride, greed, lust, fear, or self-gratification, but all these issues stem from one common source–SELF. We struggle to set aside SELF and allow God to take the lead in our lives. So, I ask you, who’s in control of your life? It’s SELF! To bridge this gap, we need to acknowledge our role in our spiritual separation from God. It’s not the fault of our nation’s economy, political divisions, abusive or broken relationships, or even poor church leadership. We often fail to understand God’s true nature, and we use our ‘SELF’ as a shield to avoid what we perceive as God’s judgment. But here’s the truth. God isn’t waiting to judge us. He’s waiting with open arms to shower us with love, acceptance, mercy, and grace. 

All God asks is that we believe in Him and surrender our hearts to Him—in other words, set aside SELF. There are numerous signs that indicate we are in the ‘end times,’ and one of the most significant is what God reveals in His Word in 2 Timothy 3:1-3 NIV, when He says, But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good. Sound familiar? Look at our family unit, communities, cities, and our nation. Who’s in control? We’ve handed it over to SELF. We want what we want when we want it, but at what cost? A Godless world ruled by ‘SELF’s’most powerful ally—the enemy. If he can consume us with thoughts of ourselves and get us to constantly focus on feeding our selfish worries, wants, needs, doubts, and fears, then he steals the abundant life God has promised us and we are left all alone with our ‘SELF.’

David understood this better than most when he said in Psalm 16:8 NIV; I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. There is no room for the enemy to occupy when God is at the helm. No room in our families, communities, cities, or nation. It isn’t natural for us to set aside ourselves, and that’s the point, isn’t it? We cannot have victory if we rely on man and believe only in material things the natural world tells us are of value. We must step aside and surrender everything to God so that he can transform our lives. When we set aside “SELF” and give God the glory, He blesses our lives in unimaginable ways. When you are finally able to step aside—get ready! God’s about to show you His greatness!

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