by Grayson Jacks
“Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him first deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” -Luke 9:23
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” -Revelations 12:11
“ For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” -2 Corinthians 10:4-6
If I were to ask believers what they thought the main battle facing our Church is, most would say either the devil, the government or those “crazy and technology obsessed kids that need to play outside more”. The main battle that our Church faces today is carnal thinking. The strongholds that are presented are thoughts, feelings, and opinions that have become a way of believing in our lives. We have been looking at ourselves through our own eyes instead of through the eyes of the finished work of the cross i.e. being the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
To deny myself is to not exalt my own thoughts and my own opinions above the Word of God. For example, if I have an unrighteous thought, I recognize that it is not in line with the Scriptures. If the thought is left to fester, I begin to think that its part of my identity or I begin to think that I am unrighteous. The thought has set up a stronghold. So, before it can become a stronghold I take that thought and submit it to the authority of Christ Jesus. In my walk with the Lord this is what that looks like.
I pray, “Lord I so thank you that I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. I am hidden with Christ in You. I am seated in the Heavenly places. I so thank You that You sent Your Son to bare my sins on the Cross and I am now dead to sin, that I now live unto the righteousness of Christ.”
Sometimes the revelation does not come immediately, so I keep praying the Scriptures aloud until I receive the revelation. Remember God cannot be pleased without faith, so I keep on until it becomes substance to my spirit. This denies myself. My own thoughts, opinions, and feelings are laid to the side and my heart is opened to God that He might write His Word on my heart.