If Any Man Will
Matthew 16:24-25 “Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.”
This always rest with our will.
(Our will is the “putting into action” of our personality. Our minds…give reason. Our hearts…give emotion. But our wills….act on what has been presented.)
If any man will? Let him deny himself. That is the key ingredient—self-denial.
If we deny ourself and take up our cross….and keep after this until we reach the place we no longer resist the Lord’s Will in anything.
(This is not instant obedience, but it is final obedience….we have determined to do God’s Will.)
Then we have acquired the power of choice.
We are now crucified, and we can begin the process of….real living.
(Before,…….we would will with God,…..but there was always something pulling us in the opposite direction……for the power of sin, and it’s influence was still there, fighting for control.
Paul speaks of this in Romans 7. But we can come to the experience that we are not resisting His Will—we may not like it…..we may be afraid….but we will do it. That is settled.)
To lose your life in yourself….is to go on and deny your self-life. This is not the will, willing….but….Whose life am I going to manifest.
When we lose our self-life, we deny ourself in our thoughts and emotions.
The reason I do this….must give way to…..”it is what He wants done.”
This is my way to deal with this…must give way to: Lord, how would you have me to deal with this.
It is to lose all those things we have formed around us to keep our true self hidden.
There are some, who when embarrassed or uncomfortable….they begin to tell a joke, or a story…..get everyone looking somewhere else, but at the real them.
There are some, who have hidden their emotions so long….they do not know how to really express themselves….but by pretense. It is easier to “hide-out”.
(I knew a woman who told me that for years, after she had become a Christian….and had decided to do whatever God said; had made a place to retreat to, in her mind, when certain things came up.
When confronted with certain people, certain things to do….she would “shut down”, withdrawing into self.
Her smile still stayed on her face….but the light went out in her eyes. She would do whatever was required….but it was mere form. Her heart was not in it.
She “hid out” till that was over with….then she would “reappear”.
When she heard my message on “losing your self-life”…..a battle began.
Would she give up to Christ, and stop retreating into the narrowness of self……or continue to hide from the Lord and Savior, which loved her and gave Himself for her?
It was a battle….one which raged for a long time….but finally victory was given; and she came out to Christ…..opening up her inner life to Him.)
A word about the narrowness of self……we are in the way, when something we do not want to face is presented…..what do we do?
We can deny ourselves and yield to the Holy Spirit’s leading…… or we can narrow the way, in our minds or hearts, and refuse to deal with this.
These bring in roots of bitterness…..which grow harder and harder to deal with…..soon the Lord’s Way, has become our way….maybe religious,….but joyless.
But when we have determined to do God’s Will, then we begin to be free from all the restraints of self….to come out to Christ, in truth…..and let Him give us His life.
Peace for fear, joy instead of selfishness…..to free us from habits….and become who He purposed us to become.
He never changes our true personality…..but frees it, to come into fellowship and friendship with Him.
Then you will begin to live….”the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God.”
And faith always places Christ straight before us, to keep our eyes on Him.
Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
Think of it…..to live by faith….the faith of the Son of God flowing through us,…leading us on with Him.
We are given faith when we are born again….and it shows us God, so that we know He is there with us.
Then faith delivers us from making bad decisions, and says….Keep looking to Christ.
Faith leads us on till, we live everyday…..yet not I, but Christ lives in me.
Jesus Christ said, “If any man will come after Me”……..that is the Way we must go….to follow after Him,….and let Him lead us out of self, and into true life….the life of faith.