2 Cor. 4:11 "For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh."
Am I alive? Is my heart beating? Are my brain waves functioning? Am I breathing in and out? I am (thankfully). This is what we call "living". Paul was too, but he said that he was constantly giving himself up to die. He was always giving his body over to lose his life for the cause of Jesus. Why? So that the life of Jesus - the absolute fulness of life, real, active, genuine and vigorous would be visible in his flesh that was in fact perishing.
So it is like this: Living--> Dying--> Real living. You see, we have it backward. We think that we have real life now. We want to experience all that we can, now. We want to party all that we can, now. We don't want to deny ourselves anything that we can have. We think that this is real living, and Paul says: "No". If you are physically living you must die. You have to constantly give yourself over to death. You must, 24 -7 die to yourself. Die to experience everything. Die to seeing it all. Die to partying. Die to giving in to every desire. Die to being selfish. Why? So that we can experience real, genuine, meaningful, purposeful life...the life of Jesus living through us. All of the other stuff is empty. What Christ wants to give us is full.
Sometimes I walk around in a cloud only thinking of one thing...me. If I want to experience real life I must deny myself so that the life of Jesus can live through me, which will visibly reveal itself to others who see me. People will see real living, real purpose. I will not be consumed with "stuff" (which God may bless me with anyway). I will instead be consumed with pursuing Jesus and His purposes.
Kind of reminds me of: "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and delivered Himself up for me." Gal. 2:20
This may seem like heavy stuff. It is but it is something that Christ asks us to consider. Do I want to live or do I want to really live?