Mark 8:34 34And Jesus called [to Him] the throng with His disciples and said to them, If anyone intends to come after Me, let him deny himself [forget, ignore, disown, and lose sight of himself and his own interests] ……..
Although we talked about this a little, I feel that there is so much more to be learned from the concept of surrendering ourselves to God. I want to clarify something. Denying ourselves does not always mean just giving up what we want, but rather yielding what our desires when they conflict with what God wants. Living a surrendered life doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be deprived and miserable. Frankly, the more you become surrendered to the will of God for your life, the more you will only desire what He wants in your life. Eventually it won’t be a matter of giving up anything, because your wants will be only what He wants and you will find more joy and freedom from conforming to His will than you ever had while choosing your own.
One of my very favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. If He knows the plans that He has laid out for us, and what He desires for us is even greater than what we desire for ourselves, why do we fight so hard to have our own way and our own plans? Gaining an understanding that God’s desire to see us succeed and fulfill the destiny He has placed in us is greater than our own, will make it easier to lay down our plans. We sing a song that says-
Oh Lord, Humbly I come
Asking that Your will be done
Oh, Lord, I give You all of me
My life, my heart, everything
With every single breath, more than anything
Oh Lord, My heart longs just to be
Oh Lord, I give you all of me
Every single plan
Every single dream
I place, My life into Your hands
I surrender all, everything I am
Surrendered, I surrender
All to Jesus I surrender All to Him I freely give
I surrender, I surrender
It illustrates so beautifully what we should be living on a day to day basis. Over the next week or so we will really explore the areas we can learn to deny ourselves in our own lives, but isn’t good to know that in the denial is a return beyond what we could ever dream?