. . . and then some more . . . More life. More Jesus.

What I Forgot (It’s Not About Me)

To become a Christian means to lose our lives.  — David Platt, Follow Me

I have been a Christian since I was five years old. That night in January, 1977, when my dad answered my questions about all the changes I noticed in Him. All the talk about Jesus.

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That night I decided I wanted it too. I knew I’d done stuff that kept me separated from God. And I didn’t want to go to hell. I wanted to be saved and go to heaven someday when I die.

My dad helped me pray and ask Jesus to forgive me. Ask Him to please take over my life and be my Lord.

Then we called me born again and we told all our friends and we partied with the angels about my new forever life.

I have been one of God’s children ever since.

There have been seasons where you wouldn’t have known. Like those last years in high school when I wanted popularity and the reputation for fun more than I wanted the real life Jesus offered.

It lasted into college too. That first little while when I loved my independence and wasn’t sure how to handle it all. So I took it and ran with all sorts of fun before I realized it really wasn’t.

That’s when follow me. Deny yourself came into play.

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I have long been attracted to the life Jesus offers — the more and better kind than I can ever imagine. But I am realizing that I tend to forget the part where He called me to give up everything.

Deny yourself.

I forgot about the part where Jesus told me to give up my own life.

Like when I know God has called me to write and make Him famous in this little sphere of influence He has let me enjoy. But I fill my hours with other stuff and have little left when I finally sit down to write.

Or I have some extra cash in my wallet so I stop for a coffee. Then I grab some lunch while I’m out. And before I know it, I’ve spent $20 in a matter of three hours. All on myself. For the third time this week.

And then there’s the Goodwill treasure hunting. Because who doesn’t want to spend $3.89 on a still-looks-like-new Gap sweater? Am I right?

And the twitter vacuum. And facebook.

And before I know it, I have to go pick up my kids from school and all my work time is over for the day.

I forgot about denying myself. I forgot it’s not about me.

I forgot that when Jesus took over, my part was to give up. Give up my what-I-want. Surrender my just-let-me-leave-one-more-comment-on-this-hilarious-post-about-what-my-friend’s-three-year-old-dreamt-last-night.

Give it up and trust the alive and perfect Spirit of Jesus Who lives inside me to give me the real life I actually want.

It doesn’t mean I don’t have fun. Or that I shouldn’t treat myself to some time off. It means I let Him have my minutes. I look for what God wants and give up what I think I want. I quit living for me and actually live to do what He has called me to do.

It means when I hear His wisdom tell me it’s time to get off facebook and get going with what He wants me to do, I heed His advice, sit down at that computer. and. actually. write.

So today right here, I am committing again. Denying myself. I will follow Jesus.

Because I know what He offers is way better than what I can dream up.

Maybe you forgot too.

Maybe He hasn’t called you to write. I don’t know what He’s called you to.

But I do know this — your life is not about you. Not if you’ve ever asked Jesus to be the Lord of your life. Not if you’ve ever trusted Him for real life, more and better than you’ve ever dreamed.

Let’s talk about it in the comments. How extreme do you think Jesus wants us to get when it comes to denying ourselves?

 

**Linking up today with my friend Michelle at MichelleDeRusha.com where lots of bloggers discuss what God’s been teaching them lately.

16 Thoughts on “What I Forgot (It’s Not About Me)

  1. Lynnette Schemrich on November 18, 2013 at 10:17 am said:

    Totally at Walmart the other day 😉
    Love you. We all fight it. It is our sinful nature. And society now makes it impossible to deny it!
    Love you!

  2. Oh, good stuff, Bria! It is too easy to focus on myself, but the irony is that when I focus on what Jesus wants for me, I am able to experience satisfaction and joy. And when I have a day that is all about me, I get to the end and feel a bit empty. When will I learn?
    Thanks for speaking straight to my heart today, dear friend! I am so very thankful for your faithfulness!

  3. Bria — You hit me between the eyes today, friend! Mine’s not writing but other things He’s called me to do. This post just confirmed what’s been swirling around in my head and heart as well as a conversation Wade and I had yesterday. One of those legal pad moments– thanks!

  4. Very good post, Bria! Now I need to get off here and write.

  5. I really have a hard time with finding a balance here. My wife and I were in a church for awhile where fun was unspiritual. Perhaps in an overreaction to this, I go through seasons where I veg spiritually. I really don’t know where the balance is though, because I am convinced that ‘redeeming the time for the days are evil’ (a la Ephesians) definitely does NOT exclude relaxation and laughter and enjoying a moment for myself.

    • Hi Chris! I totally agree with you. And I’m pretty sure I tend toward the overreaction side you talk about. That’s why I forgot that I’m not the one calling the shots. I believe God often calls us to fun treats and relaxing times and alone moments. But balance is so hard for me too. Man, I love these thoughts you’ve inspired, Chris. Maybe I should write another post about the call to fun…

  6. Love this post! I’m good at whiling away the hours too and not getting busy with the writing that God has called me to. So today I’m feeling very convicted!! 🙂 Seriously, such a great reminder to be mindful of my calling and to not let it slip away.

  7. Well said, thanks for the reminder today. I remember reading a book once, the first words were “it’s not about you”. It has stuck with me for years, something I want to keep in mind

  8. Love it Bria! Some of those same thoughts have been running through my head since reading that book. It can be such a struggle to deny my wants each day to do His way even though I know it will be better. Your question of how extreme does Jesus want us to go was one that definitely spoke to me…. So thanks for listening to your calling today and writing, because He is using you to bless and challenge others! Love ya!! 🙂

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