(Gentlemen and ladies are welcome to pray with me in the comments.)
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them He said:
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:26-27
“Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33
To follow Jesus means we must yield ALL of ourselves, all that we are and every detail of our lives to Him in complete submission. He gave all for us. Now, we have the honor and privilege of sacrificing everything for Him.
To give Him less than everything we are and all that we have is to not follow Him, to not be His disciple.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2
This is the path to knowing God’s will in all things – we totally submit ourselves to Christ. We hold nothing back. We allow Him to transform and renew our minds by the power of His Spirit and His Word. We abide in Him. We are one with Him in Spirit. We died with Him and He lives in us, we no longer live for ourselves.
The Normal Christian Life – by Watchman Nee:
“The apostle Paul gave us his own definition of the Christian life in Galatians 2:20. It is “no longer I, but Christ.” Here he is not stating something special or peculiar – a high level of Christianity. He is, we believe, presenting God’s normal for a Christian, which can be summarized in the words: I live no longer, but Christ lives His life in me.
God makes it quite clear in His Word that He has only one answer to every human need – His Son, Jesus Christ. In all His dealings with us, He works by taking us out of the way and substituting Christ in our place. The Son of God died instead of us for our forgiveness: He lives instead of us for our deliverance. So we can speak of two substitutions – a Substitute on the Cross who secures our forgiveness and a Substitute within who secures our victory. It will help us greatly, and save us from much confusion, if we keep constantly before us this fact, that God will answer all of our questions in one way and one way only, namely, by showing us more of His Son.”
We bow on our faces before You. You are high and lifted up. You are so very holy, sinless, perfect, righteous, just, powerful, sovereign, mighty, awesome, wise and beyond anything we can begin to fathom. You are the only God. You are the Creator. You are in full control of Your universe and Your good purposes will be accomplished. No man can thwart Your sovereignty. Your face shines brighter than the sun. Your clothes and your appearance are whiter than snow and so dazzling and radiant that if we were to see you in all of our holiness, we couldn’t survive – for we are sinful people. Your voice sounds like thunder. Your eyes blaze like fire. Your hands and feet glow like metal in a furnace.
And yet, at the same time, you are Love itself. You possess such opposing qualities – it is a glorious mystery how you can be just and merciful, powerful and gentle, righteous and gracious, appropriating wrath against your enemies and protective of those who love You. Lift up our heads and let us look into Your eyes, blazing with love for us – though we deserve nothing but condemnation in Your sight. Thank You for loving us so much that You became a man and that You bore upon Yourself Your own full wrath against our sin – so that we might come to You and have abundant life with You and know You deeply both here and in heaven. Thank You for this love that passes all understanding and that greatly exceeds all measure.
Lord, our church culture has warped the message of what it means to truly follow You. We have been so tainted by the world, by godlessness and by our own sin. We easily believe that we can follow You without total submission to Your Lordship – that we can be “casual” followers of Christ. We have been so very wrong! Following You is not about going to a church service once a week, listening to Christian music, reading a chapter of the Bible every day and then living however we want and being in charge of our own lives. We have been so deceived!
You desire ALL of us. You are worthy of ALL we have, ALL we are and ALL we ever hope to be. Open our spiritual eyes and let us understand that You are the Greatest Treasure! You are the Pearl of Greatest Price. To know You is eternal life. Nothing compares to You. Nothing else deserves all of our devotion, adoration, worship, service, sacrifice, love, strength and passion. Only You deserve all of these things from us.
Let us truly lay down everything at Your feet. We place nothing above or beside You in our hearts. Let us give You free reign in our lives. Let us know Your character and learn how very trustworthy You are. Let us taste and see that You are GOOD. There is no darkness in You at all. Let us willingly, joyfully lay our lives before You and allow You to do open heart surgery on us to remove anything that displeases and offends Your holiness. Let us be willing to love, honor, obey and serve You no matter what the personal cost to ourselves, Jesus! Let us love You so much that nothing competes or compares to our love and devotion to You.
Empower us by Your Spirit flooding our souls to love those around us with Your supernatural love. Let us die to our sinful old nature. Let us nail it to the cross with You. And let us put on our new man in Christ. Let us live in Your power. Let us abide in You and live in You. Let us feast on Your Word and desire You more than anything in the universe.
Cleanse us. Make us new. Transform us to be more and more like You, Lord. We can do nothing apart from You. We are totally and desperately dependent on You. Make us holy. Make us fruitful. Prune us. Chisel us. Mold us. Refine us. Make us beautiful in Your sight. Make us useful in Your kingdom. Let us love what You love. Let us hate what You hate. Let us go into our relationships, families, neighborhoods, work places, churches and into the world by Your power. Make us bold and courageous to share Your glorious gospel with everyone. Use us to shine brightly for Your kingdom.
Let us have the biggest faith there is! Let us be people of great faith and fervent prayer. Open the floodgates of heaven to pour Your power into our lives and relationships that You might be greatly glorified in us. Let our lives draw many to Yourself and to salvation and to the gospel of Christ! Use us to train our children in Your ways, to know You, to love You, to love Your Word, to obey You by the power of Your Spirit and to love others with Your love.
Move mightily among Your people in the United States and around the world. Bring a Great Awakening, Lord! Draw millions to Yourself. Let it begin with us.
In the Name and power of Christ.