Praise the Lord, Grace & Peace great people of our “GREAT GOD”….JESUS!
While lying in my bed very early the first day of our week of consecration, the Lord allowed me to be restless as he reiterated within the loins of my mind the essence of denial of self for all those who are in Christ Jesus. Hence for this Golden Nugget I would like to provoke a thought ” We cannot progress in Jesus Christ without Denial of Self” My premise scriptures to provoke further gospel provocation are as follows:
Luke 9:22-24 The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. 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. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
It is a fact that if we exercise a little denial of self every day, our road to heaven will be more comfortable. My brothers and sisters the path of denial of self for the child of God is the true path. “If any man,” says Christ, “will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” Please note with distinction, It is not, “let him deny certain things belonging to himself.” No, he must “deny himself” and this must be a “daily” thing. Each morning, as we rise out of our bed, we have to have this essential mindset to deny self.
I’m telling you this flesh (the old man, Adam) wants to lead us every step of the way! Even though we know by grace through faith that “our old man is crucified” ..it is dead and buried out of God’s sight, for in Gal. 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Saints since the word of God confirms this, it is apparent that self has to be denied, judged and subjugated every day, every hour, and every moment. The principle of our standing must be executed in what we practice. It is because of the finish work on Calvary that God sees us perfect in Christ; and because of this we are not in the flesh, but the flesh is in us, and it must be denied and kept by the power of the Holy Spirit. GOLD NUGGET!
My brothers and sisters, comparatively it is easy to deny certain things pertaining to self, especially when self is pampered and gratified all the time. I may deny my appetite to feed my religious pride. I may starve myself to minister to my love of money. I may wear shabby clothes while I pride myself in other sumptuous things. Hence, this is why we must be reminded that we must deny self over things.
The premise of denial of self is massive, and covers every area in our lives, everywhere, under all circumstances, habits, prejudices, likes, dislike, etc.
In the epistle of 1 Cor. 8:9-10,13 we see a wonderful precious lesson on the subject of denial of self. Note this great Christian’s motto. If it be merely a question of self, surrender all; if it be a question of truth, surrender nothing. For it states in 1 Cor. 8:13 “If meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world stands, lest I make my brother to offend” for this is the ultimate resolution! But we must embrace grace to carry it out!
Again, note what it states in 1 Cor. 9:19-22 “Though I be free from all, yet have I made myself servant to all, that I might gain the more…. I am made all things to all, that I might by all means save some.” “Let no man seek his own” It is essential and very needful to observe that when the apostle Paul declares that he was “made all things to all,” it was entirely a matter of self-denial and not of self-indulgence. He neither indulged himself nor surrendered a single iota of the Word of God, but made himself servant to all for their good and God’s glory. This is an excellent blueprint to follow. Lord please give us the grace to imitate it! We are called to surrender not only our prejudices and preferences, but also our personal so-called rights, for the profit of others.
Please know that when denial of self is evident, God can use and fill our empty vessel! For God looks forward to filling our empty vessel. The entire bible illustrates this truth, the history of the people of God illustrates it; and the experience of each New Testament believer illustrates it. This holds true in regards to the sinner when they first come to Christ, and it holds true in regards to the Saint of God in every stage of their walk, from the starting point to the goal.
How difficult it is sometimes to get the poor heart to empty itself, so that it can be fill with Christ! For our heart and mind always want to have something to lean upon and cling to other than Christ. This has always been the main root of many of our difficulties. It is a fact my brothers and sisters that we will never be able to draw water from the well of salvation until we come to it with empty vessels.
This can be difficult work, if we don’t strive to deny self in order to be emptied. Many spend fruitless effort before they reach the point of self-emptiness. Surprisingly, when they have reached that point of self denial is when they realize how simple it was, and wonder how come it took so long to get there.
Somebody said, “I never was truly happy until I ceased to wish to be great.” When we cease to wish to be anything, when we are content to be nothing but a servant unto the Lord, we then taste what true greatness, true elevation, true happiness, and true peace really is. Many restless people in the body of Christ desire to be something or somebody which can be destructive to the tranquility of the soul. For all who humble themselves to Christ shall be exalted. I’ve learned that the way to get up is to go down. This is the doctrine of Christ, the doctrine which He stated and has been inscribed on His life as noted in Matt. 18: 2-4 “And Jesus called a little child to Him and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily, I say to you, except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever, therefore, shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” This doctrine of character help get us to heaven. How different this is from all that prevails here in a World that prescribes to self-seeking and self-exaltation!
I believe that John the Baptist was a true example of one who exemplified various degrees of the real meaning of denying self. The Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who art thou? What sayest thou of thyself?” What was his reply? I am one who has denied himself! He said he was just “a voice.” He was taking his true place. “A voice” had not much to glory in. He did not say, “I am one crying in the wilderness.” No; he was merely “the voice of One.” He had no ambition to be anything more. This was denial of self. Please observe the result. He found his engrossing object in Christ. “Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he says, Behold the Lamb of God!” What was all this but the fullness of God waiting on an empty vessel! John was nothing, Christ was all.
Hence, when John’s disciples left his side to follow Jesus, we can feel assured that no murmuring word, no accent of disappointed ambition, or wounded pride came from his lips. There was no envy or jealousy because he had denied himself and emptied his heart. There is nothing touchy, nothing tenacious about one who has learned to take their delegated and assigned place in Christ. If John was seeking his own things, he might have complained when he saw that he was abandoned. But, my brothers and sisters when a person has found their satisfaction in the object “the Lamb of God,” the Real Headliner, they don’t care about losing a few disciples.
Let’s look at a another exhibition that shows the denial of self by John the Baptist in St John chapter 3 “And they came to John and said to him, Rabbi, He that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizes and all come to Him.” Notice the purpose behind what was communicated to him, it was calculated to draw out envy and jealousy from his heart. But notice the reply that was rendered by John the Baptist “A man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven, He must increase, but I must decrease. He that comes from above is above all; he that is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth; He that comes from heaven is above all.” Glory! What a POWERFUL testimony… a testimony that uttered he was nothing compared to the fullness, excellence, and glory that was found in Christ Jesus! “A voice” was “nothing” because Christ was high above all.
I thank God for those who strive to walk in the denial of self, because it renders a self-emptied spirit, a heart free from itself, a mind delivered from all anxiety about one’s own things! Only then can the Master use us, own us, and bless us. Let us perpetually hearken to the testimony rendered by Jesus concerning John the Baptist…the one who said of himself that he was nothing but a voice. Matt. 11:11 “Verily I say to you, among them that are born of women there has not risen a greater than John the Baptist.” How much better it is to hear this from Jesus the Master than from the servant! John said, “I am a voice.” Christ said he was the greatest of prophets.
May we strive to be lowly and self-emptied, so that we may be perpetually filled with Christ. For only this can bring true rest and true blessedness. May the expression of our hearts and the distinct utterance of the life that we live in Jesus Christ ever be, “Behold the Lamb of God.” because we know that “ We cannot progress in Jesus Christ without Denial of Self” have a “JESUS DAY”