Billy's Blog
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July 6, 2017, 10:22 AM

Deny Yourself

I've had to say no to my kids a LOT through the years. Many times I don't like saying no to them, but I have to. The person I really don't like saying no to is me. I struggle to say no to me. One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control, and I really struggle in this area. I don't like to control myself. I like to say yes to me. I like to let myself do whatever I want to do. 

The problem with this is if I want be a Christ follower, a disciple of Jesus, I must deny myself. 

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24

The first step to following Jesus is denying myself. Why must this happen? What does this mean? 

1. Why this must happen. 

If you are going to follow Jesus you can't be in charge anymore. I know, you don't like this, either, but it's part of the deal. Jesus has to be in charge. Just think about this. You have decided to follow Jesus. Why? One of the reasons you decide to follow Jesus is that you are disatisfied with your life. You are actually disatisfied with the direction of your life and you have been in charge of that. You have been the captain of your ship. If you don't like where you are heading why keep driving? You have to let someone else take over the wheel. If you are going to follow Jesus you can't be the one driving anymore. This is the first step to being a disciple...giving up control. 

2. What does this mean? 

Denying yourself means creating a practice of saying NO to you. Ephesians 2:1-3 is very clear that the reason we got in the mess that we got into was our own behavior. We did whatever we wanted to. We followed our own sinful desires and did whatever felt good. Doing whatever we wanted to is the reason we need Jesus. 

A lot of people like the idea of Jesus being the Savior. We like the idea that he saves us, and because of him we have salvation and we get to go to heaven not hell. This is great news. BUT...we're not so sure of this idea of Jesus being Lord. We're not real sure of someone else being in control. We like to be in control. 

The key word in all of this is TRUST. To follow Jesus we must trust him that he knows what he's doing and that he has our best interests in mind. When we go all in and let him be Lord of our lives we have finally agreed to trust him. 

When my kids get in the car they have total trust in me. We've driven through snow storms, severe thunderstorms, hail, extreme wind, and heavy rain. I've never seen my children freak out about it. They have trust in me that I can drive this vehicle and get us safely to wherever we are planning to go. 

Do you have this kind of trust in God? Are you ready to deny yourself and let Jesus be Lord of your life? 


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