by Donna Butler
Luke 9:23-24 - Then He said to them all, “If anyone wants to follow after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it.”
Following Jesus is a daily sacrifice of all that we are…spirit, soul, and body. In past times, the slaying of an animal was given as an offering. Grains, fruits, and incense as well were graciously offered in gratitude as an offering to God. Our Creator set the ultimate example by sending His one and only Son as the Gift of love. Jesus willingly gave all that He was, spirit, soul and body, as a price for all that we are - a spirit controlled by a self-centered, sinful soul, and a flesh-satisfying, flawed body. So to be asked to give Him our filthy, tattered, war-battered vessel for a robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10) and a pure, clean heart (Ezekiel 36:25-27) is a no brainer!
We are a spirit, who God created to intimately communicate with Him. He loves us that much! There is nowhere on, above, or below this earth, or in the spiritual realm, that His Spirit can’t reach us (Psalm 139:7-12).
Our souls (mind, will, emotions) need direction or they will run-a-muck! Have you ever seen the movie “Inside Out”? It is a hilarious, artistic vision of the reality of our souls. It’s also a sobering reminder of why we need to be led and guided by the directorship of the Holy Spirit. We need a Helper who will speak truth and wisdom (John 16:12-13), a Counselor who teaches us all things pertaining to life and godliness, and a Comforter that intercedes for us. The One who gives us gifts to operate in that benefits the whole Body of Christ.
Our bodies are the amazing handiwork of God. Same and different in tandem. We all have organs, bones, blood, skin, etc. All this is orchestrated by individual cells with a spark of our Creator in each one! His breath of life flows through our veins! Yet, each outer covering is a uniquely and expertly crafted piece of art.
So, when Jesus says in order to follow Him, we must deny ourselves, He’s talking about making a choice in our souls. A daily decision to allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide our spirit. Our soul and body must align with the wisdom of the Creator of the universe. To buck up against that kind of logic is to declare that we know better and can do better without His counsel! Let me know how that’s been working for you. Here’s an alternate choice: “In You, O LORD, do I put my trust and confidently take refuge; let me never be put to shame or confusion.” Psalm 71:1
About Rays of Light:
Whereas most blogs are from one writer, these posts are from a variety of authors and styles. These scribes all attend our Kingdom Writers group. We pray our passion to share God's love through writing will encourage you today!
Our writers group meets every 4th Tuesday Night at 7PM in person and/or via zoom. Let us know if you would like to join us.