In today’s verse, Luke records the words of Jesus that provide the key concept we need to understand as we seek to follow Him. Notice that these words were spoken to “all”. This isn’t a special command to a certain “elite” group of followers. Jesus is giving this command to everyone who wants to follow Him. The command gives 3 necessary actions for following Jesus.
They are to deny ourselves, take up His cross, and finally follow His lead.
The word deny used here implies a sense of complete denial…to the point of disowning. This is not a denial of a few special rights. It is a command from Jesus to deny our very selves…to give up all our rights.
We are to release complete control of our lives to God.
This is scary…and it is hard.
We not only invite God into the planning of our life…we give Him the final say.
As physicians, this denial should start as early as medical school by allowing the Lord control over the type of medicine we will practice in our career. It means deferring to Him regarding the location where we will practice…even the possibility of being called into medical missions. To deny ourselves means to put our own goals aside and allow Jesus to lead us where He wants us to go.
Denial of self is an ongoing process. It begins with the small decisions and progresses to major decisions.
Denial of self begins with how to spend our free time on the weekend. It begins with the recognition of the possibility that God might desire something from you.
It begins with an attitude of being open to God’s direction.
The reason we should allow God to fully control our lives is ultimately based on faith…faith that God truly knows what is best for our lives. We won’t relinquish control to God until we are convinced that God’s plan is better than our plan.
I can personally testify that His plan is best…and I invite you to begin sampling that life today.
Prayer: Lord, help me see that Your plan for my life is the one I should follow.