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 Luke 9:23-24 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”

Self-denial. 

We do it to lose weight. We do it to detoxify our bodies, find an answer to prayer, or gain a spiritual closeness. Most often, it is not a way of life. We do it temporarily to obtain something, and once we do, we stop.

Christ admonishes us to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow Him.

It is commanded for the child of God to adopt this as a way of life.

The struggle to follow this command is genuine. We grow comfortable and almost complacent in what we accept as “doing enough for God.” To obtain, maintain, and retain the focus needed is beyond our capacity.

Jesus further explains the root cause of our inability. 

Luke 9:26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.”

Pride.

Shame is the fruit of the inability to accept what comes when we take a stand for Christ. Mocking, ridicule, and even abuse comes when we reveal ourselves to the world. So, how do we manage the day-to-day?

First, our hearts must be rooted in who it is we desire to please.

Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

If our heart is set on pleasing God, we must operate by faith.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Our faith is not just a declaration of what we are and to whom we belong. It is a demonstration of living faith that is infused in our everyday lives.

Trusting God for answers to prayers for which we can see no solution.

Trusting God in our relationships to grow us and deepen our connection.

Trusting God for the process and plan in raising our children.

Trusting God to reveal the answer to a difficult problem at work. 

We must trust God in all aspects of our lives so that we can continually gather evidence of the reality of God in our lives. Ask yourself, “What has God done for me lately that can be attributed to His hand, His power, and His will in my life?”

Submitting ourselves to God relinquishes control. One of the scariest things is not knowing the outcome. Yet, trusting the One to whom I give the power brings peace and comfort.

Believing God’s promises to be true, trusting He is Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent, and resting in the assurance that He will do what He said He will do should seem a simple task.

Yet, our human nature is subject to question when doubt rears its ugly head.

When human reasoning cannot comprehend God, we must have faith to believe His Word to be true.

Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

We don’t like being told we are less than we what we imagine ourselves to be. But, realizing it is our Creator, the One who fashioned us, who is speaking, I can accept that truth.

This week will already have trials and tribulations aplenty. Trust God by faith to walk with us through every day humbly submitted to His will and His way.

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