““Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” ” John 10:1-5
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mt. 16:24-26
Barely daylight. Still, the Spirit of God had something powerful to say to me. He doesn’t keep the hours we humans keep. He keeps all hours. Day and night, the Lord and His Word are alive. Always powerful. Always truthful. Always Truth.
“Don’t follow your flesh, Lara,” the Lord spoke to my heart. “Follow me.”
Why would He say this? And why so early in the morning? Before the day started?
Because even to this very day, even after a long while now believing in Jesus Christ as Lord, I am still prone to listening to and submitting to the voice of my flesh. To hearing the voice of self and obeying self. To doing what pleases and satisfies me. To going down the pathway of self. Rather than denying self, taking up my cross, and following Jesus as His followers are commanded to do.
Why so early in the morning did He tell me this? Did He remind me? The day is a new beginning, isn’t it? Another 24 hours the Lord gives us to live the right way. His way. Believing in and following Him. Spending time with Him, reading the Bible, being filled with His Spirit, listening to His voice and following Him as His Spirit leads us through the day. Obeying God. Living to love and worship God. To adore and revere Him. To fear and praise Him. To live and breathe for Him. To love Him with ALL our hearts.
He wanted to remind me. And so I remind you now. We were not created to live for self. We were created to live for Christ. The one who died for us on the cross and was raised from the dead to pay our sin penalty so all who turn from their sins and turn in faith to Him as Lord, truly devoting our lives to Him, are forgiven and given a forever relationship with God instead of forever in hell and the lake of fire in eternal torment.
He spoke to me that morning because even so very early in the morning, my thoughts were already running, fast, the ideas were coming to me, as I found myself meditating on what I wanted, on what I thought best, on what I figured should happen, on what I felt, and on and on. Oh, how proud and loud is the flesh!
Friend, let you and I both be reminded. Let us not live for self. Let us live for Jesus. When the voice of the flesh calls our name, and gives us its commands, and tries to drag us onto the pathway the Lord desires we leave behind, the pathway of self, of selfish wishes, ways, and wants, let us turn away from that pathway, let us deny self, let us die to self, and let us resolutely, purposefully, passionately, devotedly, humbly, lovingly, reverently, honorably, godly, distinctly, wholeheartedly choose to LIVE FOR CHRIST.
Jesus Christ, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Creator, Savior, Redeemer, Healer, Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end, Deliverer, Comforter, Counselor, Spirit of Truth, Truth, the Word, the Living Word, alive forever, may we LIVE FOR YOU, oh Master, oh Lord, oh God, forever and ever AMEN!