Written by Allan Mitchell for The Life
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.’” Matthew 16:24 – 25
Are you content with your relationship with God? Do you desire a dynamic, deeper, more intimate relationship with Him? If your answer is yes, your decision will certainly cost you.
For years, my relationship with God felt satisfyingly comfortable, yet inwardly, I sensed a static, stagnant, apathetic stupor. My dilemma compelled me to urgently pray for a hungry heart of spiritual discontent — a discontent that only subsides with a wholly surrendered heart and life.
In today’s verse, Jesus unapologetically outlines authentic discipleship: deny self, take up your cross, and follow Jesus. He purposely reiterates His declaration by clarifying that His disciple must lose his life to ultimately find life. In today’s narcissistic world, from birth, we are indoctrinated to value self-worth, self-gain, and self-acclaim. Jesus’ prerequisite for discipleship is unashamedly counter-cultural. At first glance, Jesus’ declaration and expectation seems impossible to accomplish, but for believers courageous enough to confront the grand illusion of a static faith experience, daily self-denial is the non-negotiable cost of deeper intimacy with God.
Are you willing to daily and bravely never be content with your spiritual status quo and to surrender your life for greater discipleship intimacy? If your answer is yes, then your decision commences with audacious ambition, courageous confession, soul submission, and relentless resolve – continuing everyday of your ransomed but rewarding life. Renowned braveheart missionary, Jim Elliot, concluded, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for redeeming my life with your blood. Empower me to become a braveheart disciple — a disciple never content with a static, stagnant faith experience. Create a constant spiritual discontent in my heart that can only subside by daily and wholly surrendering my life to your will. Amen.
As you begin this new year, ask the Lord to help you define self-surrender for your faith walk and to show you the obstacles preventing you from partaking in a thriving, dynamic discipleship experience.