…at least not to me daily that is.
I like Dave.
I like stuff.
I like what I like.
I like what I covet.
Well, my flesh likes it that is. My spirit grieves over how I hold onto to the things I leave at the altar and my soul is torn between the two.
And yet I am commanded by Jesus to take up my cross daily.
“Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.’” (Luke 9:23-26)
Jesus wants my total surrender. He later teaches in Luke 9 the cost of discipleship:
“Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, ‘Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.’ Then He said to another, ‘Follow Me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.’ And another also said, ‘Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’” (Luke 9:57-62)
How demanding of Jesus to not allow the man to bury his father. His father wasn’t dead; the young man did not want to forsake his family for Jesus. This man was praying an “except” prayer. You and I have prayed them before: “Lord I’ll do anything you ask except go to Africa.” Replace Africa with your own exception.
We place ourselves under unnecessary limitations because we use our carnal minds instead having a mind of Christ. This is the entrapment of political pragmatism. It causes us to trust our theories and analysis instead of trusting Christ. We’ve for too long looked to man for deliverance when we should be looking unto the “Author and Finisher of our faith.”
Paul was saying this same thing to the Colossian church that was turning to legalism and trusting in the wisdom of man:
“Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—‘Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,’ which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.” (Colossian 2:20-23)
Beloved this is not something you can do on your own and as a wise brother in Christ reminded me yesterday, we need to be careful as we wade into the deep end. I would no more throw a child into the deep end of a swimming pool than I want to drown any of you spiritually.
How do I die to self? How do I surrender my life? Don’t use this devotional as your guide; use the Bible. It teaches us many wonderful things about the surrendered life, the first being that prayer is essential and our Teacher the Holy Spirit will teach us to do God’s will:
“Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.” (Psalm 143:10)
Jesus taught His disciples to pray for God’s will in their lives:
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
Bro Dave how do I know what God’s will is?
First, you decide if you truly want to do God’s will and then commit to God to do so.
We’ll pick up tomorrow morning on discerning God’s will.
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Copyright © 2010 David Jeffers