“But whether I live or die is not important, for I don’t esteem my life as indispensable.It’s more important for me to fulfill my destiny and to finish the ministry my Lord Jesus has assigned to me, which is to faithfully preach the wonderful news of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24 TPT).
The biggest obstacle you will have to overcome is yourself. Getting over yourself begins with the realization that the world doesn’t revolve around you. You are not the center of the universe! Sinfulness is selfishness. It’s enthroning yourself—your plans, your needs, your desires—above all else.
The most important thing to Paul—other than knowing Jesus intimately—was to fulfill his destiny. For this to occur, Paul knew he would have to overcome himself. Therefore, he did not consider his life as indispensable. When Paul was warned about the trials that awaited him in Jerusalem, he didn’t have a pity party and feel sorry for himself. No amount of opposition was going to stop him from completing all he was assigned to accomplish.
Prior to Jesus’s crucifixion, an interesting conversation occurred between Jesus and Peter. Jesus revealed to His disciples that He was about to be executed and after three days will rise again. When Peter heard this, he took Jesus aside to correct Him privately. He reprimanded Jesus over and over, saying to Him, “God forbid, Master! Spare Yourself. You must never let this happen to You!” (Matthew 16:22 TPT). Without flinching, Jesus responded, “Get out of My way, you Satan! You are an offense to Me, because your thoughts are only filled with man’s viewpoints and not with the ways of God” (Matthew 16:23 TPT).
Peter encouraged Jesus to spare himself from suffering. The original Greek writing records Peter saying, “Pity yourself!” If Jesus had succumbed to self-pity, he would not have been crucified—leaving God’s plan for redemption unfulfilled. This is why Jesus was quick to silence this enemy—knowing that self-pity would stifle God’s purpose.
As mentioned earlier, your biggest obstacle is often yourself. When you become the focus, your goal becomes self-preservation. Jesus resisted the temptation to feel sorry for Himself; choosing rather to view His present circumstances through God’s perspective, which enabled Him to see the purpose beyond the pain.
At one time or another, we have all felt sorry for ourselves. This can happen daily in a variety of situations that leave us questioning, “Why is this happening to me? I don’t deserve this! I can’t believe they said that about me!” Unknowingly, self-pity will victimize you—paralyzing you with a sense of hopelessness. I’m not suggesting that we don’t take the time to assess our situation; we just can’t allow ourselves to remain stuck there.
Without a battle, there can be no victory. When you encounter opposition, instead of wallowing in self-pity, choose to press through—assured that victory awaits you on the other side. Get over yourself, and lay hold of all that God has destined for you!