Denying the Flesh

In the Christian life, sacrifice should be common place (or at least we would think).

 And we could even venture to say that every Christian would gladly sacrifice something for Christ’s sake. I don’t mean Old Testament kind of sacrifices, where animals were brought to the priests to be offered to God.  Because now, we live under grace that Christ provided when He died and rose again to pay for our sins and give us a new life.  I simply mean the kind of sacrifice Jesus spoke of when He said in Luke 9:23, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

Are we willing to deny our own will?  Would I really lay aside my own desires for God’s greater purposes?  To be honest, we all have agendas of our own.  Want certain things in this life.  Want life to go a certain way.  But God calls us to follow Him and keep our eyes on Him at all times. Sometimes God asks us to do or not do something and it contradicts our will.  But at that point in time, would I actually be willing to offer up my will to God’s? Sacrificing what I want, so God’s will is done instead? 

As I read some of the Old Testament (and even as we study some of these same passages in my Intro to Christianity class) I found some shocking and appalling stories where parents sacrificed their own children by burning them in fire (some examples can be found in these verses: Ezekiel 23:37, 2 Kings 16:3 and 2 Chronicles 28:3).  What would possess a man to sacrifice their own flesh and blood, but not even just that, but to a false god??  Thankfully, our God doesn’t require such sacrifice.  But we can learn from these people.  If they were willing to kill their own children for a fake god, (who never performed any miracles) to demonstrate their gods existed, why is it so seemingly hard to offer our will to the true, living, faithful God who did EVERYTHING to prove He was not only real but loving and merciful?  

Samuel reminds us that obedience is better than sacrifice in 1 Samuel 15:22 “…to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” So this then is a higher plane of living; this asking us to obey. Because if you think about it, any one can give something physical (car, house, boat, money), but it is definitely much harder to give of your inner self (desire, will, love, forgiveness).   

But even for those days when we just feel that we could give God everything, no hesitations, no thought required, it still will cost us something. Our willing sacrifice of internal self to the Lord, will cost us something. And if it doesn’t cost anything, is it even worth giving to God 

So denying “self” is a sacrifice that’s pleasing to God because when we do so, we demonstrate to God that He comes before us. We even pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” That’s the goal in life; for His will to be done and for us to be used (which means we have to let ourselves go).

TO THE KING!!

-Claire

 

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About boldandfab

Where Being A Witness Meets Chic Sophistication! Where Every Word Has Profound Meaning. It's all us...ALL REAL! B & F.
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5 Responses to Denying the Flesh

  1. Dad (Campus Security) says:

    I agree that is hard to deny one’s self, but the rewards are great. Thank you for your encouraging words.

  2. Mom Dukes says:

    Boy, this is a tough one, Claire! We all were born with a free will, in order to make decisions on our own. What’s not realized, though, is that as an enemy of Christ, decisions we make for ourselves have no lasting rewards, no substance, and are always done at the risk of being detrimental to our very existence.

    But, praise God, when the Holy Spirit begins to dwell within a Christ Follower, that free will becomes His, to mold and shape into the image and likeness of the One who died for the sins of the world. That free will has been redeemed, exchanged, for the cleansing power of the shed blood of Christ Jesus.

    Now the hard part, surrendering our free will (oh yes, we have to give it up; God will NEVER force that decision upon us) to God for that holy transformation to take place, daily. As just expressed above, that is an extremely difficult decision to make, for it must be as constant in our lives as breathing. But the rewards are great, because the Lord is greatly to be praised! Thanks Claire!

  3. iNDIGO says:

    Wow Claire-bear!!! Eloquent words spoken so strong and true. As I always say, SALVATION IS WORTH THE SACRIFICE(S)!!! Thank you for your word today my B&F sister!!

  4. HANK LLOYD says:

    To deny ourselves is to put down our flesh. The first picture in the bible of God on the cross shows us a picture of what it looks like to present our bodies as living sacrifices to God. This decision, Paul says, is a decisive dedication and it’s a reasonable (rational, intelligent) decision. It only makes sense that Christ would ask us for the same kind of sacrifice that He made for us. You know, when Christ was in the garden praying before He went to the cross, He prayed, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me, but, nevertheless, NOT MY WILL, but Yours”.
    This tells us that Jesus did NOT want to go to the cross. Jesus had to conquer His own will and submit to the Father’s will. Now, we are not going to talk about taking up our cross today, but if Jesus Christ can suffer the gruesome death of the cross and deal with the agony of being separated from His Father when our sin was placed upon Him, we can certainly conquer our flesh in the menial tasks of the day.

    • boldandfab says:

      I appreciate your thoughts and comments! It is often hard to deny our own flesh and God gave us the free will that we have but as a child of Christ, we have the responsibility to exercise that free will in a way that will glorify God. And that is not always the first thing on our minds as we go from day to day. But practice makes perfect (or so they say) and practicing taking up our crosses on a daily basis will only strengthen us more.

      Stay encouraged!!

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