… then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Matthew 16:24
God prunes us, when He is about to take us into a new season of growth and expansion.
The Lord’s greatest commandment is that we love, so how can we love if we are not of a humble spirit? The Lord also says that in order for us to enter heaven, we must become like children. How can an adult become like a child, by first embracing humility. Humility is the first step into acknowledging God in the first place, and it is the basis of being obedient.
Acquiring humility is a process, and not something that many of us have naturally, and humility is not modesty or insecurity. Humility keeps us in the mind state of putting others first. It is to be selfless, which means to be concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own; unselfish. The Lord has called each and every single one of us, into a life of selflessness.
When Jesus called each of the disciples, He told them then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. We were told by our Lord, to deny our entire selves, all of our motives and impulses. If we desire to follow Jesus, we must make the daily choice to renounce everything that may be a hindrance to becoming like HIM.
Paul told the Philippians to put the interest of others before their own: this is denying your own desires and plans. And urged us to have the same mind that Jesus had, which was of servanthood. Imagine God, the one who deserves to be served, and deserving of our adoration… here on earth, washing other people’s feet. The Lord Jesus asked us to love others, even our enemies and to not expect anything in return: this is obviously God asking us to deny ourselves.
I always recall my sister Jeannie Ortega, sharing with us that marriage is about crucifying our flesh. If we cannot deny ourselves to put others, and God first, then we will have a hard time denying ourselves in marriage. Jesus has called us to self-denial in our marriages. Pride resists dying to self, it keeps us being self-centered and self-serving in all areas of our lives (even if it’s only 1 area!).
The Lord calls us to a humble life of selflessness. The bible mentions quite a few times that The Almighty, our Father, opposes the proud and will not even listen to their prayers.
Lord God, today I present your children. I ask that you make us joyful servants, willing to put ourselves second. I pray that we would be of a meek spirit. May we do all things for you, not seeking our own glory, but keeping in mind that we are only able to do anything because of your power working in us. May we always repent and humble ourselves in the face of any pride or arrogance lurking in us. In Jesus name, Amen.