Deny yourself

In a world that promotes living for yourself and pleasing any and every desire that you may have, denying oneself is somewhat foreign. To the world, it is offensive and almost insanity to require a person to do something contrary to their undeniably real desires; however, this is the very requirement given to those who desire to be a disciple of Christ.

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23, NIV)

Being a disciple of Jesus is literally a new way of living. When you made Jesus the Lord of your life, you essentially gave up your right to live for / please yourself. We may, at times, have sinful desires and may be tempted by them; nevertheless, the same power that restrained Jesus when He was tempted, also dwells in us.

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15, NLT)

Whatever temptations you may face, know that Jesus (our High Priest) has also faced the same BUT DID NOT SIN. Temptation does not define who you are. Just because you have a desire, it does not mean that it is God's will OR that you have to succumb to it. In Jesus, we are free to deny ourselves when something is not also God's will, we are free to choose obedience.

Jesus Himself demonstrated this denial and desire for obedience when He said;

Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Luke 22:42, NLT)

Jesus didn't want to go to the cross, but He went because it was the Father's will. If we are truly going to "follow" the master, then daily we must also make the same choice as the Lord and deny ourselves. Amen?


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