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Denying Yourself For A Better Life

To “deny yourself” according to the Bible means to put aside your own desires, wants, and needs, to follow Jesus and His teachings.  

Denying yourself is a process of realizing you must trust and obey God. 

To deny yourself for Christ requires letting go of anything that does not lead to the manifestation of God’s will in our lives, decisions, and relationships. 

It includes focusing on the things above rather than the things of this world.

Why do we need to deny ourselves?

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

~Luke 9:23~

The Bible teaches that we need to deny ourselves because it helps us to align our will with God’s will. 

It helps us to grow in our faith and to become more Christ-like. 

Denying ourselves can also help us to develop self-control and discipline, which can be beneficial in many areas of our life.

Self-denial is a way of expressing our love for God and our willingness to follow Him, even when it is difficult or uncomfortable. 

Following Jesus requires a willingness to put His will and His teachings above our own, and self-denial is one way that we can demonstrate this commitment.

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How can we deny ourselves?

There are many ways that you can deny yourself and follow Jesus, depending on your individual circumstances and the particular challenges you face. 

Put God’s Will Above Your Own 

“Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 

~James 4:15~

Putting God’s will before our own involves understanding and seeking His promises.

This may mean making difficult choices or sacrificing your own plans for the sake of following Jesus.

Pray for His guidance and lean on Him to discern what steps to take in life. 

Trust that He is able to give you clear direction if you humbly seek and heed it, no matter how challenging it may be. 

When faced with a decision, oftentimes the first step toward finding out God’s will is simply asking for patience, wisdom and understanding.

Practice self-control

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. 

~Proverbs 25:28~

Denying yourself often requires self-control, which is the ability to resist temptation and to make choices that are in line with your values and goals.

It’s important to remember that self-control is a skill that takes time and effort to develop and can be improved with practice.

Having self-control means that we can regulate our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

This involves resisting immediate temptations or impulses and requires discipline, determination, and the ability to make sound decisions. 

Self-control is important; it allows us to make choices that align with our values, build stronger relationships, and lead a more fulfilling life.

Deny Yourself By Serving Others

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 

~Galatians 5:13~

Denying yourself can also involve putting the needs of others before your own and being willing to serve and help those in need.

Serving others can help you step outside of yourself and develop a greater sense of empathy and connection with others. 

This can lead to a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Denying yourself for the service of others can be a difficult task, but it’s also an invaluable way to live. 

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Practice Humility

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. 

~Proverbs 11:2~

Humility is an important part of denying yourself. It means recognizing your own limitations and weaknesses, and being willing to submit to God’s will and authority.

Practicing humility means to have a modest and respectful view of our own abilities, achievements, and worth. 

This means being open to feedback and constructive criticism.  In other words, we have to remain teachable. 

This will help us grow in our walk with God because we must recognize that we are not doing anything on our own. 

Spend Time In Prayer and Bible study.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

~2 Timothy 3:16-17~

A regular practice of prayer and Bible study can help you to better understand God’s will for your life and to develop the discipline and self-control you need to follow Jesus.

Prayer is basically talking to God; listening,  expressing our thoughts, feelings, and needs. Bible study involves reading and reflecting on the teachings and messages contained in the Bible. 

Both practices can provide guidance, comfort, and wisdom, and can help develop a greater sense of humility, self-control, and awareness.

  • Set aside dedicated time each day.
  • Find a quiet and comfortable place to pray and study.
  • Read and reflect on passages from the Bible, considering their meaning and relevance to your life.
  • Practice listening for God’s guidance and responding to His call.
  • Seek the guidance of a pastor, mentor, or leader if needed.

Spending time in prayer and Bible study can be a powerful way to deepen our connection and cultivate a more humble, self-controlled, and fulfilling life.

What are the benefits of self-denial?

There are many potential benefits to practicing self-denial and putting aside your own desires and needs in order to follow Jesus. 

  • Closer relationship with God – As you seek to understand and follow God’s will, your relationship with Him can grow deeper and stronger.
  • Greater spiritual maturity – Denying yourself can help you to grow in your faith and to become more Christ-like.
  • Improved self-control – Practicing self-denial can help you to develop self-control and discipline, which can be beneficial in many areas of your life.
  • Increased sense of purpose – When you focus on serving God and others, rather than just your own desires, you may find a greater sense of purpose and meaning in your life.
  • Greater joy and contentment – As you learn to trust in God and depend on Him, you may find greater joy and contentment in your life, even in difficult circumstances.

Examples of Self-Denial In The Bible

Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only

~Matthew 4:10~

When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, He denied Himself the opportunity to turn stones into bread, even though He was hungry.  

Paul’s missionary journeys

I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.

~2 Corinthians 11:27-28~

Paul denied himself many comforts and conveniences as he traveled on his missionary journeys, often facing danger and persecution 

The Early Christian Church 

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they hade

~Acts 4:32~

The early Christian church is also an example of self-denial, as believers shared their resources and possessions with one another.

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Bible Verses About Denying Yourself

  • Mark 8:34 – “And he called to him the crowd with his disciples and said to them, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.'”
  • Romans 12:1 – “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
  • Philippians 2:3 – “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
  • 1 Corinthians 15:31 – “I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day

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2 thoughts on “Denying Yourself For A Better Life”

  1. Great job digging into those one, friend! This really made it practical for us! Oh, to live the life of self-denial and put others first!

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