“And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me,
let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
As I’ve been praying for God to show me which way He wants me to go, I keep hearing “deny thyself” spoken in my mind repeatedly this morning. There are a million things I should be doing right now, but today the dishes will wait, the unfolded laundry can sit a bit longer, and the ever increasingly mammoth dust bunnies, filled with dog hair, can linger a while as I sit in the guidance of my Lord.
What does it mean to “deny yourself?” Deny the self inside, the self-centered lifestyle, the me-first, the me-desires that entrench us in a subtle state of narcism each day. While completely normal and healthy, the simple day-to-day- activities we do with naturally center around ourselves do interfere with the supernatural relationship we have with God.
On my To-Do list: Daily housework, clean the fridge, finishing emptying the car from the Spring Break Road Trip, fold the laundry. I’ve already made it to the gym, the grocery store, my therapy appointment, and yet there is so much more I need to be doing. Yet God calls me today to Him.
Denying myself today looks like walking away from all those remaining items on my To-Do list and spending some much needed time with him today. The chores will still be there, but what God is ministering to my heart is of the utmost importance. God is the supernatural, the eternal. The mundane is never as important as what He is doing today.
I will finish my mid-day in prayer with the Creator. Today that is what denying myself looks like. The afternoon and evening can be a return to what needs to be done in the house. I rely on God to energize me in the things I need to do, but I find that if I drop everything when He calls I find myself in the supernatural and it leaks over into the mundane.
When God calls, it’s ok the set the vacuum aside! This is what it means to follow Christ, to truly take up your cross. Its simple, its the everyday. Thank You Heavenly Father for showing me how simple it is to deny myself and follow you.