Tag Archive: self-denial


v4.13 Not My Will, But Thine

Not My Will, But Thine

Jesus wants you to walk with Him and learn of Him. He always prepositions this offer with “If”, if you will. What is your desire? Do you want to do My will or not? Jesus wants you to be His disciple. Do you want what He wants or do you want what you want? This simple test speaks volumes about your heart toward Him.

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23.

If. If what? If any man will, if any man has a heart to do My will. If any man is seeking relationship with Me and to please Me. Then I will show him things with eyes that see, then I will speak things to ears that hear, then I will give him understanding and knowledge and wisdom, then will you enter into abundant Life. Then you will enter into Peace and My Rest. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matt. 11:29.

Rest. We can’t even conceive of the bliss of being delivered from our Self. Self rages and wars and lusts to have, to hoard, to covet, to take, to consume on itSelf. Self knows nor cares about no one else. He or she is true to his name. Self has one ambition, to exalt, to feed, to worship Self and exact the same from every one else. You must see this and stop defending him. As long as you have Self pity you are his slave.

The Lord beckons you, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself.” Do you not see that the first order on the agenda of being a disciple, one who follows after to learn and become like his Master, is bringing to nothing this Self. Judas did not deny himself. Judas stands as the foremost example of the tragedy of a man who would not follow Jesus. Are you a disciple or a Judas? Any man or woman who will not deny themselves may easily become a Judas for the right price.

You see that any Self ambition can be placed in the balance against your relationship with Jesus. And if you have not learned and practiced and solicited God’s help with this self denying business then Self ambition will weigh heavier than your allegiance to Jesus Christ. What is the price of your allegiance? What weighs heavily in the balance against Christ and sells Him out time and time again?

Money is often the root cause. It is the root of all evil. For the soul that is lost and separated from their heavenly Father, protection and provision are the foremost concerns. A clear indicator that you have not denied yourself is that you are always fearful about the future. This is the perpetual message being piped out by the Prince of the Air. “God can’t help you. You have to watch out for your Self. You can’t trust Him. If you don’t take matters into your own hands, then you won’t get what you (e.g. Self) want.”

If you have learned to trust Him, learned to deny your Self then you can say with confidence and by faith, “I know my heavenly Father loves me and has complete power and resources to provide for me and protect me. If it appears that I lack something or will not have enough I am being deceived. I have faith in my Father. I trust him to protect and provide for me. If I do not have it, it is because He knows that it is best for me.” Is this not what Jesus told Satan when tempted in the wilderness? “Bread is not my only food, but My Father, He is Life to Me. He will never leave Me nor forsake Me.”

So the money in the balance (i.e. currency) comes in many forms. Most often it comes in the form of what I have to do to get what I (Self) want. And we listen and obey Self all day in this regard (yet not all of us, not you right? ;). We see what Self says we want and need, we listen to Self’s plan for getting it and set out like a slave to do his will. Self assures us of our right to be happy. It is our right to be happy isn’t it? Not even remotely. “Thy will, not mine.” If you are a child of God you have no rights. If you are a child of God you have a lot of duty — love one another, keep the commandments, be ye therefore holy, come ye out from among them, do not love the world, etc.

All those rights you give yourSelf are lies and very marketable deceptions of the enemy, like the ones sold in the Garden. Are you buying all this stuff?

Listen to what Oswald Chambers says:

“It is not the bad things that are the stumbling-block to becoming a disciple, anyone will give up sin and wrong if he knows how to, but will I give up the “rightest” thing I have got, viz., my right to myself? will I crown Jesus as Lord? Whenever Our Lord talks about discipleship that is what He bases it on, the giving up of my right to myself—“ . . . let him deny himself.” Many are called, but few prove the choice ones, that is, few of us take up the cross and follow Jesus, the reason being not that we are irreligious and bad, but we don’t prefer that Jesus should be Lord.

We like to hear about deliverance from hell and forgiveness of sins, but this comes a bit too close, this demands too much, and we back out. “Upon this many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him” (rv), they went back from following Jesus and never became actual disciples. If I do become a disciple my career may have to be ruined, am I prepared for it? is He worth it? “IF any man would come after Me . . .” “If” means, “You don’t need to unless you like, but you won’t be of any account to Me in this life unless you do.” Wherever Christian experience is proving unsatisfactory it is because the Holy Spirit is still battling around this one point, my right to myself, and until that is deliberately given over by me to Jesus Christ I will never have the relationship to Him He asks for.”

So God places Jesus Christ in the balance against any and everything in this world system. (And there are a lot of things in this world system: money, fame, health, power, material things, even your affection for your family, anything and everything that Satan can use to further his purpose), Now they are not all there at once, but essentially they are. You must not love the world. God will systematically ask you to give up these things, He will place them opposite your relationship to Jesus Christ.

Self will join hands with the ruler of this world system and assure you that you have rights to these things that the world offers. After all, “everyone is doing it, having it, enjoying it”. Not everyone. Those who are following Christ have denied themselves, taken up their cross and are following Him.

Its a tough sell. And only those who want to do God’s will choose this life. Those who want to follow Self and his will deny Christ. They want to exercise their own Self assigned “rights”. I can’t say for sure where this places them in eternity. I just know that I want to please God and do His will. I am not interested in my will.

Not my will, but Thine be done.

v4.12 Godly vs. Worldly Sorrow

Godly vs. Worldly Sorrow

“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” Cor. 7:10

This world system promises a perpetual party for those who join and are in league with it. It has some pretty convincing propaganda, I might add. Everything you want and desire or believe you want and desire (think Amnon and Tamar; “but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her.Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her.” 2 Sam 13:14-15.) can be had for a cost. You wager your eternal soul (your spiritual inheritance) as did Esau, against the pot of porridge (this worlds fleeting fulfillment of my immediate lusts). Do the math!

People have been doing the math for all the ages. They noticed that God promised to come back and bring judgement with Him, yet He has not come. So they heartily attend to their personal pleasures and indulge themselves in their own will “for a season”, which by and by becomes a lifetime, and by and by reaps a destiny.

But those who are the sons of God realize by faith and the Spirit through which they passionately seek God and not this world’s passing pleasures, that, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Pet. 3:9.

The essence of Sin is not what you do, but a turning of your heart away from God. Choosing to become a free agent from God. It is the assertion of my will, what I want (i.e. a bite of the mysteriously forbidden), without regard to His will (i.e. do not love the world). There is a point at which sufficient knowledge of Him, or a fear of God by your own conscience, tells you that it is wrong according to the Standard in your heart. The act was the fruit of the heart that turned from Him. In other words, what you did was a result of (not the cause of) what you became by choice — a free agent.

Now the party has been raging in the earth since time began. And the Spirit of God is contending with your heart against the spirit of this world. Many have fallen away proving that, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” 1 John 2:19.

There is great revelation in this. Right here is a great clue as to who is “of us”. You see the rich young ruler is a picture of a man who was not willing to enter the kingdom of God having loved this present world. His great display of sorrow when asked to sell all that he had revealed that he was bound to this world by the magnetism of the things it offered. You can not take hold of the Kingdom of God if you will not let go of this world system.

The great and decisive question that God brings before us repeatedly is “Will you turn your heart from this world and back to Me? Will you follow Me, denying yourself?” The rich young ruler could not.

“He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” Matt. 10: 37-39.

Right here is where your heart can be seen. Right here lines are being drawn even today. By any account this world system is passing and we are beginning to witness its preliminary birth pangs. It is groaning “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” Rom. 8:19.

I imagine that you are groaning too. The question is are you groaning for the manifestation of the sons or are you groaning for the loss of this world system?

Godly sorrow, Godly groaning, is earnestly waiting and expecting the will of God to be accomplished in the earth. It is a sorrow unto repentance in earnest for the souls of those who are turned away from God. It is intercessory in essence. It is going to God on behalf of this wretched generation, of which I am one, in repentance for our lack of faith, trust, devotion and desire for God. “I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.” Isa. 6:5.

Worldly sorrow, is sorrow unto me and the end of my selfish schemes. I see the death of my hope and dreams instead of the progression of God’s Desire of the Ages. I see God’s desire as the competition to my own. I am not sorry that He is closing the door of opportunity of Time to redeem men, I am sorry that the door of my opportunity for me is closing.

If you find yourself in conviction just now, repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand. “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” Cor. 7:10

Our culture has worked for centuries to convince us that the works of men are valid endeavors for our lives, that God is taking too long, He has forgotten us. But remember, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

Perhaps God is waiting for you and yours. Perhaps there will still be an opportunity for Godly sorrow to bring repentance to a wicked and perverse generation.

“Weeping [sorrow] may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” John 16:20

“And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” John 16:22

“Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” Isaiah 51:11

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation of John 21:4


Quote Title Quotation Source
A Gulf That Cannot Be Bridged To be a disciple of Christ, one must renounce all he has. He cannot hold on to the world with one hand and with the other hold on to the Lord. Watchman Nee – The Salvation of the Soul, © 1978 Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.
The Trouble With Peace If thou be despised loving Christ in His gospel, remember that when David was thought base for dancing before the ark, his way was to be more base. “The more thou troublest thyself, or art troubled by others for Christ, the more peace thou hast in Christ.” Quote by John Donne from The Treasury of David by Charles H. Spurgeon, abridged by David Otis Fuller, circa 1880, © 1968 by David Otis Fuller, Published by Kregel Publications
Take Eat I say that the ineffable speech which Paul heard spoken in Paradise (2 Cor. 12:2-4) was the eternal good things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived (1 Cor. 2:9). These things which God has prepared for those who love him, are not protected by heights, nor enclosed in some secret place, nor hidden in the depths, nor kept at the ends of the earth or sea. They are right in front of you, before your eyes. So, what are they? Together with the good things stored up in heaven, these are the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which we see every day, and eat, and drink. They, we avow, are those good things. Outside of these, you will not be able to find one of the things spoken of, even if you were to traverse the whole creation. If you do want to know the truth of my words, become holy by practicing God s commands and then partake of the holy things, and you will know precisely the force of what I am telling you. Symeon The New Theologian – The Ethical Discourses – circa 1000; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Failure to Launch I had a vision of a life of prayer yes, and limitless power, which I saw depended on two things only faith and prayer. For the moment I was thrilled. I fell on my knees, and as I bowed before my Lord what thoughts surged through my mind what hopes and aspirations flooded my soul. God was speaking to me in an extraordinary way. This was a great call to prayer. But to my shame be it said I did not heed that call. Unknown Christian – The Kneeling Christian, circa 1890, © 2007 Bidge-Logos.
Relationship, Not Knowledge, is the Ticket People believe that at conversion their sins are forgiven, that God accepts them so that they may go to heaven, and that they should try to do God s will. But the idea is strange to them that they may and must each day have this blessed fellowship with God, just as a father and his child on earth have pleasure in fellowship. Andrew Murray – Andrew Murray 365 Day Devotional, © 2006 Whitaker House.
Letting Go is the Hardest Part Pray for strength and faith enough to trust yourself completely to God. Follow Him simply wherever He may lead you and you will not have to think up big plans to bring about your perfection. Your new life will begin to grow naturally. Fenelon – The Seeking Heart, circa 1690, copyright Christian Books Publishing House
Little Steps Lead to Bigger Leaps The things most readily to be done those that lie not at the doorstep but on the very table of a man’s mind are often the most neglected and overlooked. Can a man become strong in righteousness without learning to perform ordinary acts of kindness for his neighbor? Will a man climb the last flight of the stair when he has never set foot on the lowest step? Could it be that the Lord, who demands higher virtue of us, tests us first in little tasks before he entrusts to us bigger ones? George MacDonald – The Best of George MacDonald © 2006 Cook Communications Ministries.
Lacking Evidence of Life If our common life is not a common course of humility, self-denial, renunciation of the world, poverty of spirit, and heavenly affection, we do not live the lives of Christians. But yet though it is thus plain that this, and this alone, is Christianity, a uniform, open, and visible practice of all these virtues, yet it is as plain as there is little or nothing of this to be found even amongst the better sort of people. You see them often at church, and pleased with fine preachers; but look into their lives and you see them as just the same sort of people as others are that make no pretenses to devotion. The difference that you find betwixt them is only the difference of their natural tempers. They have the same taste of the world, the same worldly cares and fears and joys; they have the same turn of mind, equally vain in their desires. You see the same fondness for state and equipage, the same pride and vanity of dress, the same self-love and indulgence, the same foolish friendships ad groundless hatreds, the same levity of mind and trifling spirit, the same fondness for diversions, the same idle dispositions, and vain ways of spending their time in visiting and conversation as the rest of the world that make no pretenses to devotion. William Law – A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, circa 1728; Random House Inc. © 2002
Unlimited Supply of Water Not personal benefit but community benefit. All who come to me to drink shall be benefited by the Water that is Living in Me and poured out through you. You are a source of the Source. The same water that satisfies, only a smaller, yet not limited, representation. The Water in you is unlimited for it is Living and Active. It has this effect of satisfying the soul of them who hunger and thirst for righteousness. You have become a Well of Me. Tom Van Hoogen
The Very Essence Of Sin We are staggered at immorality, but Jesus faced those things in the most amazingly calm way (see Matthew 21:31 ). When He was roused to a state of passionate indignation it was by people who were never guilty of such things. What Our Lord continually faced was the disposition behind either the morality or the immorality. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin . . . ( John 15:22 ). Any man would have known without His coming that it was wrong to take life, the law is written in him; any man would have known that immorality was wrong; but no man apart from Jesus Christ would believe that my right to myself is the very essence of sin. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
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