(Pic credits Kevin Carden website http://www.christianphotoshops.com)
I have found to walk with Christ takes two decisions, first confessing with your mouth and believing in your heart that he is Lord which seals your salvation then…..( the part which majority of us believers struggle with) to DENY YOUR FLESH completely in total surrender that He may live. Which I have come to realize is day by day, decision by decision to choose Jesus rather than to choose Nana. I don’t pass the test every time but the longer I am walking with Christ the more apparent that call seems, the quicker I find myself willing to sacrifice my desires for his…Now I didn’t say easier lol Don’t be mistaken it is hard but dying is never easy.
I had given my life to the Lord at a young age but I hadn’t given him my life. So when the Lord called me to surrender my life 3 years ago I hesitatingly did. Not realizing it would be the greatest, most amazing and difficult decision I had and will ever make. However, I began to get rhemas from the Lord asking for “total surrender” and I would wonder hmmm Lord I have completely surrendered, (or so I thought) I don’t get it. You have my heart and my life is yours now. Not realizing he wanted complete control of my time, my body, my money, my plans etc….you name it He wants it all. So many times as believers we declare God you can have it all, whatever you want, my life is yours but do we really mean that and are we willing to live a sacrificial, crucified, hedged in life , denying ourselves every worldly pleasure and living only for the perfect will of God?? I would say many Christians don’t , especially in our generation and in our western Christianity. I remember the Holy Spirit speaking to me these words:
“In this generation we call obedience legalism and holiness religious”
So true! I remember being so frustrated at times because I slowly started noticing as I walked with Jesus there were many things other Christians could do but I couldn’t. For the life of me I couldn’t understand it. I thought the christian life was suppose to be fun with Jesus! lol No, the Lord was like is “your called to be holy and pure for me”. So I have found myself many times making plans, having personal desires and them being completely adverted because Jesus has plans for me as his bride to do instead. So i have been learning to submitted to my bridegroom.
One instance was two days ago, where I found myself weary at my moms house with all my nieces and nephews over. The day felt like I was taking care of a day care lol. I was unable to get any work done really and wanted to get away. Just then a friend from my Kenya team reminded me of get together they were hosting at their home. Watching the Avengers movie and eating snacks. So having a strong desire to go, I first wanted to make sure it was okay with the Lord first so I asked him for a rhema I got “Sickness” . Now when I get scriptures about that either I am asking for healing or the Lord is saying my mind is sick, I have come in agreement with wrong thinking…hmmm. So having a slight nudge he didn’t want me to go and would rather have me spend time with him. I thought I am not sick (like I didn’t know) and went anyway lol. As soon as I got in front of their house a song came on the radio guess what the Lyrics where ” There is a sickness in the world where people are looking to fill the void but can only be filled with Jesus” All I could do was laugh, I was like nooooo. Jesus I am already here (the Lord can use anything to talk to us by the way). Then the second song came on lyrics ” Lord help me to listen to what you tell me to do”. I reasoned with the Lord saying, moms house is crowded where can i go to spend time. Then the idea came to mind to go to my sisters place, she was out of town for trip so would have the place to ourselves. So with my face in my palm, I looked up looking at the inviting house, movie, fellowship and snacks or leave and head to my sisters. I had a decision to make….To Choose Jesus or Choose Nana. Nana, wanted to have escape, have fun and relax with friends and Jesus wanted to escape with me, have fun and have me relax in his heart…… (with a sigh ) lol I said yes, Lord. I chose Jesus (that is all by his grace)
I made my way to my sisters apartment and there I had 3 hours of the most awesome and intimate time with alone in her walking closet. I left feel at peace, no longer burdened, loved and feeling full of purpose. Jesus has called me and if not all of us to a life of TOTAL SURRENDER . We must understand it takes our permission for the Lord to complete His work in us. He is a gentleman, he wont force his will on you but will you yield to his? Jesus has asked me to live a life denying myself of the news, of movies, of TV, of Entertainment. of certain food, of sweets, idle time wasted hanging out, many worldly pleasures, worldly comforts and live on the bare necessities which come from him alone just to name a few. It feels like a tug of war every time but, God is so gracious and patient with me lol. He has me hedged finely and I am learning to appreciate that rather than complain. I get asked many times lately about intimacy with Jesus and I always tell them one of the many components to walking with Jesus so intimately is to deny yourself, not all at once. The Lord works with us all in stages and by layers, its one day at a time waking up to say I choose you Jesus today above my desires, my plans and my comforts so will you make a decision and choose Jesus every time? Ask him for the grace to make you willing to be made willing!
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
-From Jesus With Love