I was cleaning the toilet a couple of weeks ago and was praying while I was cleaning. Sounds strange I know, but I had someone on my mind and I was praying for them. In their particular struggle I was thinking about why it was so difficult for them to deal with their situation. I prayed and asked God that He would help them to deny them-self.
Clear as day, in the middle of my sentence, before I could even finish it, "Cami do you deny yourself?" No I don't. Isn't that the problem with sin? It is all about us. We do not deny ourselves everyday. Instead our sin denies God everyday. I deny God everyday.
I have talked many times of my "running" or attempts at running. I actually enjoy it even though it is hard and causes pain. Sometimes I want to quit in the middle of the run. Yet I keep on running over and over again. I know that my run will end soon. I know that my running has benefits and does bring joy.
Paul talks repeatedly in the Bible about "running the race." He perseveres through many trials we cannot even imagine, yet he does not boast about his faith. He is always Christ focused and Christ centered in the things he says even though he struggles with his flesh. Paul didn't have self-help books, Paul didn't even have the Bible to direct him in living a Christ centered life. All he had was Christ's life.
So much of our "faith" is based on ourselves. As I was thinking "how do I deny myself," and not commit sin, I came to realize it wasn't about me at all. I can't "deny" myself on my own. There isn't a magic formula to not sin, just like there isn't a magic formula to run. It is just continual focusing on Christ. He is the goal. Living for Him and following the teachings of Christ is what I am suppose to do. In that, if I am following Christ, I am denying myself. Just as my sin denies God everyday, I can deny my sin by looking to Christ and not myself. My faith isn't about me. It is about Christ. He is central. He made me acceptable to God.
One of the scriptures I have been reading over and over lately is Colossians 2:15-23. It is about the preeminence of Christ. Every time I read it tells me who Christ is and what I believe. If my faith is about anything else besides Christ, it isn't faith. That
is the race I am trying to run.
I actually enjoy it even though it is hard and causes pain. Sometimes I want to quit. Yet I keep running over and over again. I know that my run will end soon. I know that my running has benefits and does bring joy.
But my run is for God's glory. My run is for worship of Christ.
And that is something I never want to deny.
I pray that your running will bring joy to God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son.