Lenten Devotional – Day 26 – I Need God
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)
Denying myself means for me to be willing to give up something that I really, really want or to not seek something that hinders me doing God’s will. Wanting and seeking are not bad in themselves but are problems if I put them before doing what I know in my heart is God’s will. I must be willing to give up anything in life in order to please God.
Hearts are beloved objects to me. Shortly after I married, I found a heart-shaped cutting board and bought it for my husband because the shape and beautiful wood spoke to me of the love that we were sharing and of the hope I had for our relationship. From that purchase grew an incredible collection of heart-shaped objects —some I purchased but most were received as gifts from family and friends. It became easy for people to give me gifts. I was obsessed with not leaving the house without wearing some item of clothing, earrings, necklace, or bracelet with hearts on it.
One day I was brought up short with the realization that I was worshipping my heart objects and thinking more about them than I was about God. So I immediately stopped obsessing about hearts. I cleared items out of my closet and jewelry box and just kept a few things that I could wear on special occasions. Wow! I was denying myself and not seeking something that was hindering me from doing God’s will. I felt good that I was following God’s will for my life.
Prayer: O God, guide me to daily deny myself, take up my cross and follow you.