As we have learned in the last article being empty of our selfish ways is not at all fun. But the end of us is the very beginning of all God is.
Why is it so hard to put our dreams and aspirations aside? Why do we struggle with the thought of throwing our opinions and plans out the window?
I believe one of the greatest hindrances of self-denial is fear. Fear is a vice of Satan used to squander your faith in Almighty God. Of course we men hate to admit our fears because it may seem feminine or weak, but until will place our fears in the Father’s hands, we cannot and will not live by faith. And Scripture tells us, “For without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).
Think about it for a moment. What is your greatest fear? Do you remember the story of the rich young ruler? He had some fears. Matthew 19:16-22 says,
“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.”
Here is an example of a man who was fearful of having nothing. He was afraid of what it might cost him if he was to forsake all and follow Christ.
But what if this following Jesus thing doesn’t work out?
What will others think of me selling all to follow this man?
What ever his thought, he left Christ that day. And as far as we know, he never came back to Jesus. He might have left with all his possessions back home, but in the end he lost it all.
My friend, what is the fear that keeps you from self-denial and surrender? What holds you back from placing all at the Master’s feet? Don’t ‘be full of yourself’, be empty and barren for His sufficient filling!