24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life[a]will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?Matthew 16:24-26
Today as I got home from work I sat down and asked myself a question, “Whats really going on?”
A question that is asked merely in times of chaos or confusion. A lot of what I’ve been experiencing this last week. Work seemed to all come to a head for me and drained what little strength I had left. Key word being I…
This question weighed a little heavier this time and was sincerely asked from a inward self reflecting lense. I was really asking myself, “Whitney, what is happening inside your heart?” I naturally came up with the circumstances first. Well, I’m tired, I’m frustrated with my job and how exhausted I am. I have no time to read my bible and spend time with Jesus. My job is stressing me out and draining me completely. I feel like I’m being used to benefit everyone else and being left with nothing at the end of the day. Then I spiraled into the extreme victim mentality. Why me God? Why am I always the one holding things together? When is my time to rest? Why is that person always testing me and mistreating me and you won’t let me get them back? Why does this one persons very text irritate me so much?
He gently and lovingly responded, ” It’s not them it’s you.”
Taken back and sincerely searching further I began to inwardly question what was really happening. Well, I’m spiritually drained and feel empty. God I miss you, I miss feeling you near me. I’m tired of how selfish I’ve been, and I’m upset with how people bring out my selfishness for all to see. It began to dawn on me that I was embarrassed about my reactions to things I had no control over. That I was really upset with my inability to come to God and ask for strength and ask for rest. I was to prideful to admit I was weak, and foolish to believe that what I was accomplishing was all me in my own strength. And it upset me that the people I blamed for being this way were simply mirroring me and how I was feeling and responding.
The offense at its essence was simply my own self rising to the service.
Then the Lord took me to this scripture and what stuck out to me first was “let Him deny himself and take up HIS cross and follow me.”
Then the Lord said to me, “It’s not your coworkers cross, You don’t deny that person, I said deny yourself and take up your cross.”
There are some who read this and yes I know what stream your from and what theology you can throw at me. I’m not about to get all “theological” on this one. I’m simply sharing what my Daddy God said to me.
I instantly started to cry in repentance to my thoughts and actions. How can I deny God the right to use me when everyday my prayer is “God use me, I say Yes.” How can I speak of giving my life away and offering my life fully surrendered and when it happens complain and put blame on others? Furthermore, I’m so quick to point out what I think they are doing wrong yet never question my motive or my attitude?
As the scripture reads on, the Lord gently spoke to me and said, “I didn’t save your life, so you can keep it for yourself.”
For so long growing up, my life has been about survival. My days had become about just getting through my day unscathed. And I was offended because people simply mirrored my heart of selfishness and pride. I can go on but I think you know the end of this verse and you get what I’m saying.
My prayer for you is simply this, may you be the first to say its not you, its me. May you pray the dangerous prayers that God would search your heart and know you and remove anything that isn’t of Him. May you be filled up to overflowing and love out of a place of overflow.May you encounter a forgiving and loving Father who restores, strengthens, and empowers you with grace to live out what He’s called you too.