"Then he said to them all: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.' "
How is your health?
In many ways your life plan is a health plan. It provides focus on relational health, fiscal health, physical/emotional health, and most importantly spiritual health.
Life Plan Annual Review
As you look to a new year, I encourage you to review and update your life plan, but I challenge you to look at your plan through a specific lens. That is the lens of SELF-DENIAL.
The path to a purpose driven, fulfilled life in Christ is always paved in self-denial. Every healthy discipline in life requires self-denial. We will NEVER achieve our purpose without it. Just ask any successful athlete, artist, parent, business owner. Self-denial and sacrifice are necessary requirements to purpose and fulfillment.
Our Spiritual Life
This same principle is true when it comes to our spiritual life. The Bible makes this crystal clear in Luke 9:23 which says
“whoever wants to be my disciple MUST DENY THEMSELVES and pickup their cross daily and follow me.”
Doing & Denying
Discipline dictates denial – restricting ourselves in some ways in order to maximize our efforts in other ways. For example, fitness and weight loss both require exercise (doing) and eating right (denying). Spiritual growth requires prayer and Bible study (doing) but also submission and stillness (denying).
To emphasize “doing” without “denying” leads to frustration not fulfillment. It takes both to experience transformation.
Vitally & Equally Important
What we “DO” is vitally important. What we “DENY” is equally important. Self-denial is the only path that leads to true fulfillment. As you do your annual life plan check-up, perhaps the lens of self-denial will shed light on changes you need to make on the path of fulfilling your purpose in Christ.