The Path of Self Denial

 ‎"It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased." - C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

How many of us have deep enough desires to choose to deny self? I'm not talking about a "mountain-top experience" with God that lingers for weeks, maybe enough months, but the daily struggle of denying self and taking up the cross.  

"By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.  He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward."  (Hebrews 11:24-26) Our desires are not "too strong" to bear, they are too weak to see the blessings of choosing to denying ourselves!  

The Spirit must be trying to get my attention on this issue, because last night we talked about this struggle between the desires of the flesh and the godly desires that issue from a heart that loves and wants to serve God. Then later last night, a friend of mine sent me this link to a devotional on denying yourself and taking up the cross by John Wesley, and both of us were deeply challenged by it.  I would urge you to take the time to read it; it is well worth it.  

"I wonder how many believers today realize that faith is not merely believing the Christ died for our sins. Faith is also being confident that HIS WAY IS BETTER THAN SIN (emphasis mine). His will is more wise.  His help is more sure.  His promises more precious.  And His reward more satisfying.  Faith begins with a backward look at the cross, but it lives with a forward look at the promises...not just being sure of what He did do, but also being satisfied with what He will do." -John Piper

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