DAY 14 - Denying Yourself and Taking Up Your Cross

Justin and Michelle in Australia.JPG

The book has made it to Australia.  Now, if only one day I could go too!

"Hi Michael,  Michelle and I are working through the books. The books are awesome! The insight and revelation is amazing. We are so grateful and thank God for them."  - Justin Torok, Bondi Beach, Australia
 

Is there enough sacrificial evidence in my life to convict me in a heavenly court of being a fully surrendered servant of the Lord Jesus?

24 "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?  Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.

INSIGHT:  One day I humbly and persistently asked, "Lord, why is surrender of our life and possessions so important to you, and do we always have to literally lose or give up everything?"  Immediately there was a vision in my mind of newly married man finding a diamond ring from a previous engagement in his wife's closet.  He was hurt and wanted to know what need it was meeting for her that he wasn't?  God helped me to see that He sees everything in our life, before we come to Him, as things we have acquired from a previous lover.  He is jealous for us, and He gave His life for us.  This is why He demands that we give everything up, but that doesn't always mean losing everything.  In a second part, I see the wife saying, "Oh honey, I just kept it in case we wanted to sell it one day, but I completely understand how you feel.  Sweetheart, this ring means nothing to my heart and I want you to do with it whatever you see fit to do with it.  My heart belongs only to you."  Since he saw that she surrendered it in her heart, he replied, "Ok, let's just keep it then for a future need like you said."

She could have given up the ring physically and still kept it in her heart.  That's not true surrender, motivated by love for her husband.  God demands that we push everything and everyone in our life over to His side of the table, surrendering them in our heart, and trusting Him to give back whatever He pleases.  He may take everything, and He may not, but that is the only true surrender that pleases the Lord and that His love demands of our heart.

The opposite of surrender is fight.  God gave us a free will, and most of us have to choose to surrender and participate with His will.  With rare exceptions like in the case of Abimelech (Gen 20:3-7), and Paul in (Acts 9:1-6), He will not overpower our own will.  Instead, He invites us to choose His will, and He uses suffering and/or blessings to motivate us to do so, but He doesn't often force our hand.  Therefore, whatever parts of our life we do not surrender to Him, (the ones we don't want Him to have) we are actually fighting against Him.  We don't often think about this, but it is possible to exercise your free will against His, and thus you will miss out on His very best for your life.  Remember, God is not asking us to give up, but to trade up.  Father truly knows what is best for us!