Monday, March 26, 2012

Unmasking "Self"

Jesus said, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me" (Luke 9:23).  Notice that He put a condition on following Him.  He didn't say you must deny the devil, but you must deny yourself. Why? Because "Self" is the number one thing that keeps you from following Jesus. Self is even a bigger obstacle than Satan. "Self" is the most selfish person in the world, always demanding his own way. And guess what? He's living inside you!

Self is also hard to recognize. In fact, Self is so good at disguising itself, you can act selfishly and then deny that you're acting that way!  Here are some ways to unmask Self so you can identity him.

1.Self wants to exalt itself. (Luke 14:11).  It loves to be in charge and craves attention.
2.Self doesn't admit to being wrong. (James 4:6) It is so arrogant that it never thinks that it's wrong.
3.Self is mostly interested in being comfortable. (Luke 9:57-58).  Jesus often calls us to do uncomfortable things, and Self doesn't want to do them.
4.Self is easily offended. (Matt. 15:12). It gets offended at the smallest things.
5.Self says "this is mine" instead of "this is God's." (Mark 10:21-22) It is unwilling to give to God.
6.Self refuses to do God's will. (Matt. 21:28-31). It will say, "No one is going to tell me what to do!"

Now you know why Jesus said you must deny yourself.  The only way to stop Self from controlling you is to nail him to the cross every day. By an act of your will, you tell him, "I'm not listening to you. I'm going to follow Jesus today!"