One of the biggest reasons why people keep from truly following Christ is the belief that then life would be boring and, at least, all the fun would be cancelled. People are not ready to bury their dreams. It might seem that is what God wants us to do. But when you dig a bit deeper you find out that God wants to give us life and more life. God wants to bring our dreams into his service. That doesn’t sound that scary, does it?
It is true that Jesus calls his disciples to 1) deny him/herself , 2) take up his/her cross, and 3) follow him (Matthew 16:24) and that scares us to death, doesn’t it? Those are exactly the three things we do not want to do.
We don’t want to deny ourselves,
we want to express ourselves in every way possible.
We don’t want to take up any crosses,
we want to be pampered.
We don’t want to follow anyone,
we want to be followed.
What to do then? It is God, after all, who wants us to do this. We want to, but we are not able. Is all our hope gone? Not at all! Exactly when we realize that we can not do on our own what God requires of us, our life is just about getting better. This is the moment when our life really begins. This is the place where our life beings: at the foot of the cross. It’s true: We can’t. But God can! Come, Lord Jesus, empower us!
Let’s look at this verse again. Could it be a bit less scary? Here’s how the Amplified Bible puts it:
Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] (Matthew 16:24, AMP)…
Denying oneself means that we don’t focus on ourselves but on God. We don’t use our gifts for selfish reasons but to glorify God. It does not mean that suddenly we’d be selfless, without character, dreams, and passions. Only our ego needs to die. The rest God has created so you can serve him as planned.
…and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also]. (Matthew 16:24, AMP)
Instead of cleaving to ourselves and our big egos,
we need to cling to Jesus.
Instead of obeying our own desires,
we need to obey God.
Instead of boosting our egos,
we need to be boasting about the cross.
Life does not become boring when we follow Christ. Quite the contrary, actually, if we dare to follow Christ wherever he leads us. Faith adventures will never be boring.
Life does not become fun-less when we follow Christ. Quite the contrary, actually, if we dare to embrace Christ no matter what happens to us. Joy in Christ passes all understanding.
We are not to bury our dreams, either. We are to bring them to Christ. He will do something beautiful with them. Not to boost your ego, but to bring glory to God.
Following Christ is less scary than we might initially think. But it is all God’s grace. We can’t follow Christ without being empowered by God’s grace. We can’t. But God can anytime, anywhere. And that’s our hope. That’s our faith. That’s our joy.
We come to you with our dreams, our worries, our everything.
We want to be truly, fully yours.
Empower us to deny ourselves, take up our crosses,
and following Christ wherever you lead us.
Be our hope. Be our joy. Be our everything.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: What is the hardest thing for you to surrender to God?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you keep on surrendering both new and old things to God!
Giving thanks today for
#441 empowering God
#442 we are not alone
#443 God is not scary
#444 God is loving
#445 God has a great sense of humor
#446 life is not to meant to be boring
#447 God has a personal plan for us
#448 God wants to use all our gifts for his glory
#449 the standing invitation to follow Christ
#450 the standing invitation to be me who God created me to be
Image courtesy of David Hawbaker. Linking up today with Sharing His Beauty & Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday & Soli Deo Gloria &