Say NO to yourself and FOLLOW Him...
Many many verses in the Bible are filled with promises. Promises that God will take care of us, love us, and bring us through tough times. They ALL require obedience from us. They all require that we DO something. The verse I chose today is not a “warm and fuzzy” verse, but we must understand that this is what God requires of us.
Let’s look at Matthew 16:24
Then Yeshua told his talmidim, “If anyone wants to come after me, let him say ‘No’ to himself, take up his execution-stake, and keep following me. (CJB)
A quick translation is in order. The word “talmidim” is Hebrew for disciple. It is a person who is completely devoted to following someone and their teachings.
In this verse Jesus is clearly telling those who are following Him that IF they want to go with Him, they had to “say NO to themselves.”
So often we go to God and say, “I need this. I want that. Please bless me with…” It usually revolves around something we think we need.
Jesus says that we need to stop thinking about what we need and just go with Him. His Word is clear that HE will provide for ALL we have need of. IF we are LISTENING to HIM, He will take care of us!
Jesus also says we have to pick up our “execution stake.” Most translations say to, “take up our cross.” The meaning is that we must pick up our things that should hinder us and leave them with Him. He doesn’t want us to carry them. He wants us to pick up the things that are holding us back and follow Him. Remove the stake from the ground that is tying us down and walk freely forward.
Keep FOLLOWING Him is the other command! Because we KNOW the promises He gives, we should be able to do this easily, but so often it is HARD.
The children of Israel began to grumble and complain in the wilderness. God began to give them instructions because they complained. He had to teach them because they just did not get it any other way. Signs and wonders were not enough for them.
These instructions are NOT EASY. IF we are focused on the Words and promises HE gives, it becomes easier. However, like the Children of Israel we sometimes forget and then the grumbles and complaining comes.
I pray that this reminder today will challenge you to FOLLOW HIM in a whole new way. Say NO to yourself. REMIND yourself of the PROMISES HE has given and CLAIM THEM - then follow.
Love and blessings to you!
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