And Follow Me

“ I was being incredibly selfish. Selfish feels good in a heated moment of hurt, anger, and disappointment” Lysa Terkeurst

I’m (obviously) not the author of that quote … but I resonate with it so much that I could be!

To be honest though, I had never really thought about it that way before, at least not consciously. But it rang oh, so true!

Selfishness feels good, maybe not ALWAYS, but a lot of the time. Especially if you’re intelligent and can logically rationalize a reason, thus resulting in zero guilt for the selfish behavior….no, I’m not speaking from first hand experience at all.

It’s a good thing I have a merciful and patient God. It’s a good thing I am growing closer to Him daily; without Him I would be a much lesser person.

Less kind. Less Giving.

Less Loving. Less Gracious. Even less patient

Just Plan Less.

 Matthew 16:24 says:

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”

Wow, lets unpack that for a moment…

“you must deny yourself”

Essentially, you must turn from your selfish ways. Turn away from momentary earthly satisfaction. No quick wit comebacks, no yelling, no more just doing what I want simply because I want it. Choosing to follow God isn’t about me and my salvation (although that’s pretty awesome). It’s a decision to believe so much in Him that every single choice I make afterwards I long to rightfully represent His love.

 “you must take up your cross”

Although ‘every decision I make rightfully representing God’s love sounds wonderful….it’s SO not realistic. I am human; I make selfish choices every single day (typically regarding my husband and putting my wants and needs above his). That’s where this verse comes in. I will make mistakes (a lot of them). According to this verse, I must take ownership of those mistakes. I must put my sins in public view (on a cross) saying ‘look I am flawed over and over, yet here is my cross and my savior is carrying it’ and I am following Him despite my messy life.

“and follow me”

This is my favorite part and the hardest part because it lets me forget my sins and efforts and simply follow God. Which sounds really simple, until He decides on these crazy paths, or awkward situations, or difficult people in my life. I’m just supposed to trust in His timing and will. My faith is strong so that’s easy. But I’m also a control freak, so letting God handle the details…Ya that’s really hard sometimes!

Jesus said “…and follow me”

He didn’t say you pick the path and I’ll follow you. He didn’t say “get a gps and some snacks, and charge your cell phone.” He said come as you are and follow me…

It doesn’t always make sense. It isn’t always pretty. It’s rarely convenient.

How different the world (my world) would be if I would quit questioning and micromanaging and just follow Him! Just listen to Him one little nudge at a time! Just shut my mouth long enough to let His Holy Spirit interrupt my plans instead of vice versa!

That is my prayer for today!

– J

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