Someone from a humanistic background recently asked me to describe the practical life of a "disciple" of Christ. This was my response. What would you add? How would you choose to describe the day-by-day relationship of a believer with the Lord?
Jesus bids all of humanity:
Deny your self, take up your cross daily and follow Me. (Luke 9:23)
Every day my SELF, wants to function in my own strength and ingenuity for my own gratification and glory. Instead, JESUS draws me into dialogue and pray/read the Word; to behold Him & understand the wisdom of His ways, to see myself as He sees me, yield my self-appetites to His perfect leadership and fall deeper in love with Him. This is primary. This is foundational.This is the one thing. (Psalm 27:4; Mark 10:21;1 Cor. 2:2)Every day my SELF wants to tell the world how important, wise and talented I am. JESUS enriches me with the blessing to become poor in spirit, so I am dependent before God and meek before others.
Every day my SELF wants to eschew the spiritual, physical and relational poverty around me.
JESUS fills me with love, an ability to enter in, listen, give, and extend His tangible power; believing that the Holy Spirit wants others' wholeness, salvation, worship and well-being much more than I do.
Every day my SELF would prefer to follow Him within the safety-protected zone of autonomy.
JESUS spurs me to dialogue, love, share, risk, celebrate and die within a company of believers.
Every day my SELF wants to condemn the outcast, the cursed, the warped and the enemy.
JESUS gives me courage to identify with them; to serve them, and love them into holiness.
Every day my SELF fights for my right to pursue my own self-gratification, self- glorification and self-determination.
JESUS empowers me to use my liberty and my resource to serve others and glorify God.
Every day my SELF wants to accuse others of injustice and justify my sins and the sins of my family.
JESUS strengthens me to identify myself with the transgressors - to live a life of self- mortification and repentance; to walk with incarnational empathy toward those who are less privileged than I, and to forgive and walk with no malice toward those who have murder in their heart toward me.
Every day my SELF wants to stay silent about the discourteous exclusivity of Who He is. JESUS equips me to be a bold, unapologetic witness of His unique capacity to save & lead all of humanity.
Every day my SELF wants to remain the seat of all power and control. Jesus bids me to come down from my self-elevated dominion, and trust Him as I function in only the authority that He invests in me - (which is much more potent than any strength I could wield on my own)
Every day my SELF wants to focus my appetites on everything that I can get out of this age.
JESUS invites me to invest deeply in a coming age when He will rule everyone and everything.
The tiresome & annoying truth is that everyday my self incessantly wants it’s own way. The lunacy of it all is, it’s a way that leads to my ultimate dissatisfaction and destruction! But as I deny my own selfish way, and yield to Him and His way, I find that He both satisfies my deepest desires, and daily empowers me to live my life in the same exhilarating way that He lived His. Amazing.