If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me. Luke 9:23
We are doing a new Bible study at church, Not a Fan, by Kyle Idleman. At first this guy really gets under your skin because he’s pretty blunt about giving up your life for God. Of course, I know we are supposed to do that, but I prefer the more gentle approach! lol We are also using the Follower’s Journal which has something for you to do with God each day, that I am actually really starting to like because it leads you to intimate fellowship with God.
The first day we were to take five minutes to close our eyes, picture Jesus saying the above quote to us,over and over, and then write our reaction to His invitation. I was really annoyed by this assignment because this verse is so in your face. I have always tried to avoid it! lol But I begrudgingly did it. Eventually God made me aware of the end of the verse: “follow Me”. I realize this is what God has already been leading me to do. Stop trying to live for myself, but instead follow Him.
I have been struggling with anxiety, feeling like things are always wrong. God has been showing me that what I needed to do is choose to live only for Him. Get my eyes off myself and onto Him. He wants me to follow Him with tunnel vision, to look only to Him for His approval and not try to human approval. He wants me to look only do His will each day, for my only goal to be to follow Him, not to try to make my own plans work out. If I do that then everything is not wrong in my life because I am seeking to do God’s will and follow His plan for each day. Then no matter if I succeed or fail from an earthly standpoint, I have automatically succeeded from God’s standpoint and His is the only view that matters.
So when I go throughout my day and I find myself wandering down into the negative pit,. I may be thinking something didn’t work out the way I thought it was supposed to or that I am doing something wrong. I wander farther and farther into negative thinking about all the problems in my life. I need to stop myself and purposely redirect my thinking to choose to look at God and what He wants me to do. I need to remember that if I am following Him then everything works out the way He wants it to. So nothing is wrong. If I can learn to think this way on a regular basis, develop a new habit of it, then I become a conqueror in Jesus. I can live above the ups and downs of circumstances and emotions. I can be free, flying above it all with Jesus. So God help me to do that because You know I can’t do it without You. But I can do all things through You who gives me strength. Help me to fly with You.