Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Deny Yourself"...

Let me start by saying... wow... conviction. One thing that I love about our sweet Lord is that if we ask Him to show us our sin, He will... because He wants to be glorified in us through the brightest of lights. He desires to purify us. And sometimes it just stinks.

It's easy for me to say "Lord, I am denying myself... I'm moving to Africa, and if that isn't self denial I don't know what is." *conviction #1 & #2: Self righteousness and Pride

Here's what the verse says: "Then He said to them all, if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Luke 9:23 (and if you really want the punch go to v. 24)

Over the last few years, denying my "big picture plan" for life has become a "no brainer." Yes, I clearly trust Him to plan out our steps as a family... what we are to do "big picture"... I finally got so exhausted in trying to hold on to that one that it is one area I will GLADLY and JOYFULLY deny myself. Not my plans... but HIS.

However, recently, I've been convicted that it isn't "just" about the "Big Picture" denying of self... but it's the "DAILY" part I'm most guilty of overlooking. Recently, as I've begun a period of time of "intentional self-denial", I had this thought... "When was the last time I denied myself ANYTHING that I wanted during the day, that I had regular access to?" eeek. I want to run out to wal-mart... I go. I want to go to the pool... I go. I want to make brownies (and eat them)... i do(as many as I want). I want to hop on facebook... I do. You get the point. Sometimes those things become a replacement for my true need= Jesus. If you are going to follow Jesus, you can't reserve the right to enjoy the things that grieve Him.

Here's the misconception about self-denial: "If I deny myself I will be miserable." To deny yourself means that, through an act of love, you surrender your right to do what you want rather than what He wants.What I've found to be true is in the verse 24... to loose your life is truly to GAIN it! Does it make sense to me? NO! But I see that in the "denying" of our family plans and the accepting of His... there is the deepest joy! And I know I will see that even deeper as He shows me things He wants me to "let go of" on a daily basis and allow space for Him to occupy. I'm learning there is a fine line between enjoyment and idolatry.... (maybe it's just my own weakness...give me an inch I take a mile!... or better yet, give me a brownie and I take the whole pan... or give me a diet coke and I take a 2 liter...)

Thank you for never leaving us as we are. Thank you for showing us areas of our life that we aren't depending on you to meet our needs, but other things to meet our self-indulgences. Show us a deeper way to live... a more joyful way to live... help us to loose the things in our life that are unpleasing to you so that we may truly live in you! Amen...

1 comment:

  1. Surrender...who knew a word held such FREEDOM!!:) It seems I'm on the same path of surrender as you are blog friend! Praying you through as you see God working in you daily!