For so long I lived in deep denial about who I was, what I really stood for (which was nothing good), and what was really happening inside of me. Daily, I succumbed to the darkness and blamed everyone around me and expected the world to repay me and take care of me. Denial of behaviors is a dangerous trap when I refuse to look in the mirror and see who is really the problem.
Self-Denial is something completely different. It is the denying not behaviors, but ones own interests, desires, and needs. It’s putting others above yourself. It’s not always easy in a world where the “Get them before they get me” mentality reigns free. Have you ever seen a car wreck? It’s as if everything is moving in slow motion, although your brain is functioning and you see what is happening so clearly, metal crashing into metal, smoke and tires spinning, it is wrong. But there is nothing at all that you can do to stop it. You know that it’s going to hurt either yourself or someone else. You are helpless. That’s how I feel in regards to the sin of pride.
I know exactly when pride entered my life when it began to form a deep root that spread its tentacles to the parts of my heart that I didn’t know existed. It was when my dad went to prison and everything I thought I knew about life, family, trust, love, hope, and security went out the window and pride, justification, humiliation, confusion, doubt, insecurity, rejection, fear, self-loathing, and anger flew in. All at the ripe old age of 11. The thing about pride today in my life is I recognize it, I see it, I know it is there, I can feel it sending its poison from the deep root up to the surface and forming lies in my mind but before I know it, I speak or act and then it is too late. I have a wreck. I begin to rely on my own skills and strength in whatever situation I find myself in and I begin to misjudge…everything.
Psalm 132:1-5 – Lord, remember David
and all his self-denial.
2 He swore an oath to the Lord,
he made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
3 “I will not enter my house
or go to my bed,
4 I will allow no sleep to my eyes
or slumber to my eyelids,
5 till I find a place for the Lord,
a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
All our problems can be solved with these few verses. Deny self, make room for the Lord, and all will be well. Pride is the downfall of many. It comes when we choose to value ourselves over others. It causes us to take for granted the beautiful things the Lord has blessed us with and concern ourselves with the things of the world. It is attention seeking and all about SELF. Who are you trying to prove yourself to today? Whose praise and adoration do you really covet?
In these verses, David is making a covenant with the Lord to bring back the Ark to a safe resting place, but what about our hearts? If we are in Christ, then are hearts ARE in essence, the Ark. We are the resting place for the Savior of the world and we hold his Spirit within us. So what are we doing with it? Can you make a vow today to correct whatever situation you have found yourself in by denying YOURSELF and allowing the Lord to inhabit your heart? Live close to God, cast all your burdens upon Him, and allow Christ to reign, not self.
Matthew 16:24 – Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
Are you TRULY committed to the Lord to the point where nothing will stand in your way of doing what is required of you to do? Are you a disciple of Christ? Are you able to let go of YOU and follow HIM?