Tuesday, March 13, 2012

To Follow - Lay Down and Deny

For the past few days I have been stuck on Matthew 16:24 where Christ tells us that if anyone wants to follow Him, they must deny themselves and take up their cross. Each day I ask myself a different question that comes to mind after I read this verse. Christ's instruction to deny ourselves and associate with Him requires a willingness that at times, cannot be fathomed. Sometimes we have to accept that we will never understand the depths we must go in order to serve Him. No matter what, we must go.

When Jesus says I must deny myself in order to follow Him, I discover that this may require me to let go of dreams, desires and even the fulfillment of some needs. But as I do this, I discover that greater works are accomplished because I have decreased - gotten out of His way - so that His plans can be fulfilled. I may play a part in fulfilling those plans, but the greater result could only come from Him.

This journey of denying ourselves and taking up our crosses for Christ can leave us bombarded with choices that may fulfill opportunities in this world. Do we go by the world's standards for fulfillment or Christ's? Do we do what is good or do we do what is beneficial for God, others and ourselves?

My choice to follow Christ has brought me under alignment with the calling/purpose/place He has created for me as a disciple. I have been in this place for some time and it feels huge, wide open and a blur because there is so much possibility and great potential. At times, this place can be overwhelming, to the point that I have been uncertain as to which steps to take next. So I take small steps in different directions, which for someone who likes to have everything clear and in place, this is chaotic. This often comes with an uneasy feeling as I am afraid my ducks are not in a row, I will miss something and someone will be disappointed.

I want to do so much for the Lord. I want to feed His sheep through words that inspire, bring new life and transform. My heart wants Him delighted and His children devoted to Him. My prayer is that I will be a vessel that makes a difference day in and day out. May He inhabit me so that I am a form of light, comfort, beauty and grace in the midst of the world's turmoil. This is not for my recognition but for His. I have never known a love like His and everyone should have this for themselves. There is nothing like it!

I pray you will seek Him and answer His call, that deep longing within your heart. Know that there are many who have made the choice to take up their cross and that you will not be alone. Be encouraged and take the step forward into Him.


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