Coming Face to Face with Self
Luke 9:23 (ESV) “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
Here’s Following Jesus 101: Deny yourself, consider yourself as good as dead, and now you’re ready to get in line behind the One reconciling and restoring the world. It’s a call to come face to face with your own selfishness and put it to death.
The disciples didn’t get it. Just 23 verses later they are arguing about which one of them was the greatest disciple (Luke 9:46). They needed to come face to face with their selfishness.
When you are obedient to the call of God to love, to serve, to give and go, you often come face to face with self and see it for what it is. If your life revolves around pleasing self, you will avoid the call of Jesus and ignore the needs of others.
- I came face to face with my own selfishness as I stood in an orphanage in Zimbabwe looking at 150 orphans, many of them HIV positive, as the director of the home told me they had enough food for one more meal.
- I came face to face with my own selfishness as I stood under a tent in a remote village in Chiapas, Mexico, as a lady received life saving medication that cost less than an American dining experience.
- I came face to face with my own selfishness as I stood in an emergency room with a young man and his family as he lay dying from wounds received in an auto accident.
- I came face to face with my own selfishness when I met a couple in my area who both have had strokes and live in substandard housing.
This Saturday, August 29th, our church will follow the reconciling and restoring One into that neighborhood to put aside self and love, serve, give, and go.
If we don’t deal with self, we may never see the needs around us and be blessed to respond to His call and follow His steps. I couldn’t afford either of those mission trips. I didn’t have time to stop by that hospital. I’ve got plenty of other places that me and my family could be on Saturday, August 29. That is according to self. But what’s going to really matter? That I get all I want to please myself or that I make a difference in the lives of others?
Jesus calls us to a new outlook on life. And it gets better! He gives us a new outlook. He gives us the ability to see beyond ourselves, to hear his voice, to respond to needs as He would.
Father, give us the grace and courage to lay aside self and follow Jesus.