What does it mean to deny ourselves? To deny ourselves means to say “no” to ourselves and our desires and say “yes” to God and what He would have us do for His Glory. My generation, and the generations that are following mine, don’t think of denying ourselves of anything very often. If we want something we want it now. We have anything and everything we want and it’s just a tap or a swipe away. We don’t have to worry about being patient or waiting for the right time or taking time to pray about something. We act and react. This is not the way Jesus describes how we should live a life as followers of Christ.
Jesus tells us in Luke 9:23, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” He is not saying that denying ourselves of everything that this world has to offer us is going to be easy. That is why He says that we will have to “deny ourselves and take up our cross daily.” He knew that we would battle our flesh everyday, but he is asking us to intentionally put Him first and seek His will in our lives.
Jesus lived a life in the flesh before He was crucified. He knew what it was to be tempted and He also knew that the temporary pleasures this world offers doesn’t hold a candle to what our reward will be in heaven. Jesus taught us to pray “thy kingdom come thy will be done on Earth as in Heaven.” We are to seek His will in our lives, not as a punishment, but as a choice to follow Him. Saying “no” to ourselves and “yes” to God is hard, but He is here with us and we are strengthened by Him.
Today, Lord I will seek to put you first in my life, because I want to be closer to You and to live the life you have called me to live. I know it won’t be easy, but I know you will meet me here. You will help me turn away from my temptations and turn towards You. May we be the people you have called us to be today.
Be bold, Be brave, Be blessed!