And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
I'm pretty sure you're familiar with the TV reality program "The Biggest Loser." It's where people who are struggling with their weight become part of a reality program, and subsequently the entire nation can begin to cheer them on in their journey of weight loss, right in the privacy of our homes. Who will be the Biggest Loser?
Today's entry has nothing to do with weight loss. But it has everything to do with losing our heavy burdens. "Winning by Losing." What a concept! I wondered today, "Has it ever occurred to you and me that the Biggest Loser can also be the Biggest Winner, spiritually speaking?" Just like on the reality program.
So many times I've referred back to Matthew 11:28-30--- "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Who wouldn't want to come to Him to unload our heavy burdens and trade them in for a lighter load?
But have you ever gone to Him, unloaded, only to walk away feeling just as heavy-laden? I have, many times! Why do I still feel the weight of this load? The Lord has begun to show me that the burden we carry is comprised of a four letter word...not FOOD...but S E L F. The cross we carry, or are supposed to carry every day, is heavy at first because as new Christians, we've yet to completely "die to self." Dying is a process...The more of "(selfish, sinful) me" that "dies and decomposes," the less weight of SELF I'll have to carry.
Every situation that we face is another opportunity to die to self, to become more humble, more meek--more like Christ. If we see trials and testings from this (HIS) perspective, all of a sudden it makes sense! He's trying to lighten our load! Surely the storm brings us to our knees and at His feet, but don't just imagine yourself unloading your burden at His feet and hope that all of a sudden *POOF* it will magically go away when you rise to your feet. That will not happen, UNLESS you view this as a way to die to self. "Take My yoke upon you and learn from ME, for I am gentle and humble in heart...then (and only then) will you find rest for your souls, for My yoke is easy and my burden is light." His burden is light because the old flesh is dead. No more Flesh struggling to fight for its rights, no more flesh growing because it's being fed daily, therefore no more weight problems with flesh. . no more heavy burden...no more heavy load. Just quiet, meek humble easy yoke.
It's a lot easier to run (and win) a race while carrying no extra burdens or weights!! Are you Running to Win?
Dear Father, thank You for promising to work all things out for our good and Your glory if we truly want You to and are called according to Your purpose. Check our hearts, Father, purify our thoughts of You so that we may see You. Help us take up our cross, daily, the cross of SELF and starve it until it is no longer a burden on our backs. Feed our new nature, by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Cause the life of Christ within our hearts to grow and thrive. Thank You for the fact that when we are the "Biggest Loser" of self, we are the "Biggest Winner" of Christ's life within us. Bring this to pass in our hearts, beginning with mine today, dear Father, In Jesus' Name, Amen.