“Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
“How come the places I don’t want to go are the places you send me?” I whined to the Lord one afternoon.
Now, mind you, everywhere He has sent me I haven’t wanted to go, He has blessed me immeasurably in the way of opportunities to grow in His image and to love and worship and serve Him and to love and serve others. Not to mention He has blessed me in other ways also – even when it’s been tough to go and tough to stay until He’s moved me on.
No sooner did I whine to the Lord than I heard a single word in my heart. I can only imagine the Lord placed it there.
Ouch. True. Self. Me, me, me. What makes me comfortable? What do I like? What don’t I like? What I want. And don’t want. As though I should be able to orchestrate my own life. As though He is not Lord of my life – and is not worthy of orchestrating my life, of ruling and reigning in my life. But He is LORD, and He is worthy of ruling and reigning in my life and in all of our lives now and forever! For Jesus Christ is forever Lord!
SELFISH. Sin. Runs totally contrary to the life of a Christ follower. Which is all about turning from our sins, believing in Him as Lord, and living our lives accordingly. Living in submission and obedience to Him in love for and reverence of Him.
Then came this. Courtesy of the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart.
DENY SELF AND GO.
Immediately, I knew, a message. For all of us. Yes, you and me – and countless others. The Lord Jesus Christ made abundantly clear in the verse above His followers are to DENY SELF and – to what? TAKE UP OUR CROSSES. In other words, DIE TO SELF. And what? FOLLOW HIM!
The Lord was reminding me, and I am sharing with you this message now, that BELIEVING IN JESUS CHRIST AS LORD is not merely an intellectual belief. It’s a LIFESTYLE of DYING TO SELF and choosing to OBEY CHRIST for the GLORY OF GOD! NO MATTER THE COST TO OUR FLESHLY DESIRES!
When God tells us to go somewhere, to do something, whether we understand the reason or not, whether or not we want to go, there should only be one response and one accompanying action.
YES LORD! I WILL GO!
And off we should go in the love and mercy and grace and strength and according to the leading of the Lord for the glory of the Lord, YES!
Is there somewhere the Lord has been calling you to go? Far away to do missions work, down the street to help a widow, across the room to an unloving spouse whom you need to love and mercifully forgive? To a new job? To church because the Lord calls His followers to assemble with our fellow followers?
Wherever the Lord is calling you, heed His call.
DENY SELF AND GO!