Matthew 16:24 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’” (KJV)
Energy Allotted Satisfying Yourself
It is probably true; each preceding generation says of the next, “They just don’t know how easy they have it.” Advancements in technology make our lives increasingly easy. Comfort and convenience are two very strong motivators, but have we stopped to examine the price we pay chasing the easy life?
We spend vast amounts of time, energy and financial resources to ensure our comfort. We seem to measure our commitment to every task based upon the convenience of its accomplishment. We like things to be EASY. When events in our lives do not seem to run as smoothly as we plan we question every aspect of our lives, usually arriving at some level of doubt and disbelief.
Where are you right now? The question is not reflective of your physical location. It seeks to expose your spiritual position and state of being. Personally I’m facing the most difficult challenges of my life. Crises in my Pastoral Ministry, aging parents with all the “joys” of declining health, and career confrontations as an educator in the public school system, all converge to create huge stress in my life. Oh, how I wish life could be EASY. The sheer pleasure of Energy Allotted Satisfying Yourself is not without appeal. Strangely, that attraction is in direct opposition to following Christ. He says, “deny” –– NOT “satisfy yourself”.
The conflict between discipleship and the EASY life drives us toward deeper dependence upon God and a feverish search of His Word. Or, it pulls us into an ever-increasing spiral of destruction. Most often we look for answers that will eliminate our discomfort, but the situations we face are not new problems. Everyone — Prophets, Kings, Priests, and common people throughout history have all wrestled with denying their desire for what is EASY and had to balance the demands of natural life with spiritual life. These verses from Isaiah may help us understand and apply God’s answer to our dilemma. (Isaiah 49:3-4)
We search for destiny and purpose. God answers our questions with a reminder that He is Master of our destiny. He is using our lives to bring glory to His Name. We make the counter point that all our hard work and sacrifice is worthless. We do not see the value in anything we have done, yet we begin to accept that God is keeping score –– not us. He will reward faithful service. Depression and disillusion is a common problem in contemporary society. In my opinion, it is worsened by the need for instant gratification, but God in His love holds the solution.
God is aware of everything that is going on in our lives and He will be glorified. What we have done to advance the Kingdom Of God is the only thing that will ultimately matter. Do not derail your life by accepting what comes EASY. Energy Allotted Satisfying Yourself will not bring about the glory of God and cannot result in a Crown of Life. The cosmic clock is ticking away and time is at an end. Jesus is coming and He is coming soon. The popularity or lack of popularity the message holds does not enhance nor diminish its truth. We are not qualified to judge our own lives. Our perceptions and expectations color our judgment, but scripture says: (Revelation 22:12)
Faithfulness, commitment, and persistence in service are to be valued and God will both honor and reward them in us. We must overcome the tendency to go with the flow and accept the path of least resistance. Often we measure our success or failure by our evaluation of the lives of others. We mistakenly believe God ignores our need.
Whatever you are facing rest assured God knows all about it. Financial distress does not shock God. Physical illness and disease cannot scare Him. Emotional entanglements do not confuse Him. He does not have favorites. He does not have a switchboard operator saying, “Please stay on the line and your call will be answered in the order it was received.” (Romans 6:12-13)
God is not indifferent to your need. He will answer it in the way that allows the maximum glory to be given to His Name. When we seek the EASY way we run headlong down the path of sin. Energy Allotted Satisfying Yourself denies the Lordship of Christ and allows us to slide into the wickedness that is a sign of the times in which we live. However, sin is not new and wickedness has been around since the dawn of time –– no doubt it will continue until the end. In fact, it has been the catalyst responsible for divine judgment on more than one occasion during recorded history. (Genesis 6:5)
The EASY road leads to judgment. First Satan was cast out of heaven for attempting to exult himself above God. Then Satan began his long campaign to corrupt mankind. Adam was influenced and took the EASY way. God judged mankind for Adam’s sin of disobedience. Cain took the EASY way and allowed jealousy to become murder. God judged Cain and he became a marked man. Sin increased and the world was purged of wickedness by a catastrophic flood, and still we gravitate toward what is EASY. Energy Allotted Satisfying Yourself will lead to destruction. The cities on the plain were destroyed for sexual sin and drunkenness. The vast and varied languages of the world were created as a result of a man’s desire to exult his throne and bring himself to God’s level.
The antidote to the problem of sin is committing our lives to Christ. Remembering where we started this conversation, Jesus calls upon us to follow Him by denying ourselves. Once we make that commitment we no longer fall under the condemnation of sin; however, we have a daily struggle to overcome the pull of the EASY way. (Romans 8:1-3)