When was the last time you heard someone actually talk about denying themselves? We hear so much today about gratifying ourselves, fulfilling ourselves, discovering ourselves, and esteeming ourselves. There’s even a magazine called Self.
But here’s what Jesus says: “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” (Luke 9:23–24 NKJV).
Some people have a false concept of God and think that if they’re really going to be Christians and take up the cross, they will never have fun again. They falsely believe they’ll have a dull, miserable life of bondage to rules and regulations.
But that isn’t true. When we understand what it really means to follow Jesus, we’ll find the greatest joy there is in life. We never will know greater passion or excitement than what we’ll know in a relationship with God.
Anything this world has to offer is nothing but a cheap substitute. There’s no drug, no experience, or any other thing in this world that even comes close to what it means to be a real follower of Jesus and to discover what we were made for.
So if you want to find life, it means that you come to God and say, “Here are my plans. I dedicate them to you, and I invite you to overrule them if you don’t like the choices I’ve made. I want your will more than my own because I’ve discovered that your plans are better than my plans. Your purposes are better than my purposes.”
Do you believe that? If so, then dedicate your life to God. Take up the cross and follow Him.