Deny. Decline. Refuse. When we deny ourselves, we are declining our natural desires in favor of someone else or refusing sinful lusts. To do this, we must walk in self-control.
Jesus said, “If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself [disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also].”1
Jesus denied Himself out of love for His Father. Jesus calls us to deny ourselves out of love for Him and His Father, but Jesus acknowledges that we are unable to do this in our own power, so He sent the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit empowers us to refuse selfish ambition and to live a surrendered life of obedience to Him.
God calls us to “walk in love, even as Christ also loved us and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance.”2
A life of love for God is a surrendered life of obedience. Yet, our obedient denial of self becomes a sweet fragrant aroma to Him because it is our love responding to His great love.
The Great I AM – 8 Truths of Jesus The Great I AM – 8 Truths of Jesus – Strength with Dignity
Cultivating Hope in Our Hearts with 15 Psalms Cultivating Hope in Our Hearts with 15 Psalms – Strength with Dignity
1 Luke 9:23 AMPC
2 Ephesians 5:2 WEB
Amplified Bible, Classis Edition (AMPC) Copyright 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Every Friday, I join an online Christian writing community, Five Minute Friday. We are given a one-word prompt and write – unscripted, unedited, pure free-write – for 5 minutes. The prompt this week is deny.
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