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Richard365
Member



Joined: 2010/1/13
Posts: 42
USA

 Finding it so hard to die to myself and carry my cross...

I know I'm not alone when I say that I'm having such difficulty in what Jesus says in Luke 14:26-27 that we should do in order to be a disciple.

I understand how the Lord wants our love for Him to outshine the love we have for our parents, our children our friends that it seems we hate them in comparision. But I haven't gotten there yet and don't understand exactly why. I understand how we should hate our own life, our self life...the life we inherited from Adam, but again...I'm not there yet and don't know why. I see the goal and the freedom it will bring...but everyday I do something so stupid and selfish and I wonder if I really understand the big picture.

To carry my cross each day...to die to my self...to put the axe to my self will, desires, pleasures and seek only God; why am I making it so hard?

The requirments to be a disciple are very clear, but yet my actions aren't matching my intentions. I see the man of God He wants me to be...but it seems so far off. I want to be a whole hearted disciple.

I know it's possible through dependence upon God. These issues i'm facing make my addiction to Pornography seem like something easy to quite. Up until two years ago, I was totally defeated by porn. I could never beat it on my own and almost lost my marriage because of it. Then the Lord found it in His will to take it from me and since then I've been porn free. Thank you Lord.

Anyways...just wanted to vent a bit and possibly get some encouragement from fellow believers. Thank you in advance and God Bless.

Richard

 2010/2/11 8:15Profile
Goldminer
Member



Joined: 2006/11/7
Posts: 1178
Alabama

 Re: Finding it so hard to die to myself and carry my cross...

Richard I thought at first not to comment on this because I am a woman, but after prayer I do feel to share one thing with you that has really helped me over the 33 years that I have been saved. And here it is.

Light dispells darkness. When you go into a dark room and flip on the light the darkness remains, it is just overwhelmed by the surpassing greatness of the light. This is the answer to our problems on every side. Saturate yourself in God, in His word, in prayer, in worship and you will find the things you spoke of falling off. In fact you will find they are tranformed into light, because we are children of light. You are the light of the world. The light is not our own but He manifests His light as we abide in Him. Stop trying to make yourself good, you never can. But you can fill your eye gate, ear gate and entire life with Him and you will find the answer to what you are seeking. It will happen almost without you knowing it. But folks around you will see a real difference.


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KLC

 2010/2/11 8:40Profile
Areadymind
Member



Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean

 Re: Finding it so hard to die to myself and carry my cross...

"Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee."

It is the word bro. The word is cutting and slashing at who you are. It is bringing to the surface the divisions within you. I can only relate. To be a whole-hearted disciple is certainly a work in process. I think a good long cry through John 21 might help a bit. To recognize that Peter was not even able to say that he had Agape for his Lord, and finally Jesus condescended to his deep deep need and asked Peter if at least he had Phileo for him.

He knows our weak pathetic frames. Sometimes we just need to be honest about who we are to Him. If we are not honest with him we aren't honest with anyone. Not that I am saying you aren't. I am just relating my own struggles in this area.

Only God by his grace, through faith, by the power of the Spirit can give us the capacity to live with a whole heart. Galatians says that the just shall LIVE by faith.

I find Psalm 123 has been helping me with this issue as well. As the eyes of faith look to the master, and not to much down low on themselves. I am struggling with some of the exact same issues of heart brother. I will try to remember to pray for you throughout the day.

In Christ.


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Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2010/2/11 8:47Profile









 Re:

James 1
1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:
Greetings.
Trials and Temptations
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

Please understand that you are not alone in your struggles. I have gone through similar trials brother and continue to battle 'self' and consistently putting God first. I remember reading a testimony by the great China missionary, Hudson Taylor, concerning the struggle of overcoming that internal battle that seeks to condemn us. I wish I could find that but I've looked and can't at the moment. I hope someone else can provide it for us. He found that when he consulted others whom he respected about his struggles, that they had not overcome many of them either, but he assumed they had. The enemy wants us to see ourselves as the only one with these types of struggles. As for Hudson, when the truth started coming forth with this common struggle of mankind, God revealed the 'rest of Jesus' to him. His testimony hence changed from striving to resting in faith. His honesty was a great blessing to me. The battles coming forth, internal and otherwise, will help us see our weakness and lean on Christ who is 'the author and the perfector of our faith'. I pray that you will come into a place of rest in faith. But that doesn't mean that the battle is over for good.... God didn't forsake Hudson for seeking Him out in this and He will not forsake you either.

 2010/2/11 9:14
Giggles
Member



Joined: 2009/12/12
Posts: 592


 Re:

I like to maintain the "lay down your life...that you may gain it" tug-of-war by emphasizing both. Die---yes, deny myself---yes, pick up my cross---yes, BUT only for the purpose of living and finding true life and receiving all He has and being renewed in the newness of His life. We only ever say 'no' as Christians that we may say 'yes' to a higher pleasure. See happiness and holiness as synonyms not antonyms. John Piper's dad put it this way, "Don't be a don'ter, be a doer." So only deny yourself that you may choose a higher pursuit of joy, peace, relationship, and revelation of God, not just say 'no' because it's the 'holy' thing to do.

Good post ccrider. That's a foundational truth to build on right there.


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Paul

 2010/2/11 9:58Profile
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2740
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: Finding it so hard to die to myself and carry my cross...

Richard,

It may be helpful to remember that salvation and sanctification are received on the same basis, by faith. Watchman Nee puts it this way...

Our crucifixion can never be made effective by will or by effort, but only by accepting what the Lord Jesus did on the Cross. Our eyes must be opened to see the finished work of Calvary. Some of you, prior to your salvation, may have tried to save yourselves. You read the Bible, prayed, went to Church, gave alms. Then one day your eyes were opened and you saw that a full salvation had already been provided for you on the Cross. You just accepted that and thanked God, and peace and joy flowed into your heart. Now salvation and sanctification are on exactly the same basis. You receive deliverance from sin in the same way as you receive forgiveness of sins.

For God’s way of deliverance is altogether different from man’s way. Man’s way is to try to suppress sin by seeking to overcome it; God’s way is to remove the sinner. Many Christians mourn over their weakness, thinking that if only they were stronger all would be well. The idea that, because failure to lead a holy life is due to our impotence, something more is therefore demanded of us, leads naturally to this false conception of the way of deliverance. If we are preoccupied with the power of sin and with our inability to meet it, then we naturally conclude that to gain the victory over sin we must have more power. ‘If only I were stronger’, we say, ‘I could overcome my violent outbursts of temper’, and so we plead with the Lord to strengthen us that we may exercise more self-control.

But this is altogether wrong; this is not Christianity. God’s means of delivering us from sin is not by making us stronger and stronger, but by making us weaker and weaker. That is surely rather a peculiar way of victory, you say; but it is the Divine way. God sets us free from the dominion of sin, not by strengthening our old man but by crucifying him; not by helping him to do anything but by removing him from the scene of action.

For years, maybe, you have tried fruitlessly to exercise control over yourself, and perhaps this is still your experience; but when once you see the truth you will recognize that you are indeed powerless to do anything, but that in setting you aside altogether God has done it all. Such a revelation brings human self-effort to an end.

-excerpted from [i]The Normal Christian Life[/i] by Watchman Nee


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Ron Halverson

 2010/2/11 13:41Profile
Areadymind
Member



Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean

 Re:

Thank you for sharing that InTheLight

Truly a great word of wisdom, and power which is not in us but in him. Watchman's thoughts here are a succinct summary of the book of Galatians for sure.


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Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2010/2/11 14:07Profile
murrcolr
Member



Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1529
Scotland, UK

 Re: Finding it so hard to die to myself and carry my cross...

Quote:
To carry my cross each day...to die to my self...to put the axe to my self will, desires, pleasures and seek only God; why am I making it so hard?



Mt. 11:28-30 “Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Most interpret these verses to refer to the good way of salvation and the rest in Him that is found from acts of sin and the ensuing guilt. Actually, as well as this it refers to a little-known better way to walk with God.

This way is better because it has been made free from all the just mentioned "carnal labor and heavy worldly weight". You do not find this better way by getting something more than the New Man, but by getting rid of something that is old:

Even though you are saved and all your previous acts of sin are forgiven, the foundational defiling sinfulness of the fallen heart remains covertly intact. All your acts of sin, both past and future have their root in a basic corruption that is still quietly hidden within your heart of hearts. Any new acts of sin are manifestations of what was already hidden in seed-form within the heart. All acts of sin are conceived and empowered by dark seed-forces.

Pardon is the remedy for new acts of sin, but there can be no covering or excuse for the heart that is just continuing to be its own perverse natural-born self. It is not an act of sin for your heart to be the way it was born to be, so the only remedy for it is to willingly crucify it on the cross with Christ. Such an unworthy heart is both unavoidable and unlawful since by nature it is not enabled to obey the ten commandments (with will-power you manfully resist, but the unlawful urge remains), and therefore the only cure is to be cleansed from it.

Now once that unworthy hidden world of sinfulness is gone, what is left? You are. The Holy Spirit is. But your heart is now unhindered from the fall and set free to be as Godly as you wish it to be. No pollution means no distance from Him. In my own case, the changes were subtle at first but opened out over time to become totally revolutionary as I gradually learned what I could do with this gloriously completed spiritual freedom.

The Link to web site will help you on the way.....

[url=http://www.enterhisrest.org/]Enter His Rest[/url]


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Colin Murray

 2010/2/11 17:56Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2002
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Finding it so hard to die to myself and carry my cross...

Richard: The quote that Inthelight put up is great advice. I think it would be hard to find a man, or woman for that matter, that does not know exactly how you feel. I have learned a couple of things that might be useful.

Jas 4:7
(7) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

We are long on the resit part, but often short on the submit part. God taught me something about this verse that goes well with the quote by Watchman Nee. To submit to God means to realize that I am totally incapable of resisting temptation on my own. It is simply not within me, and my own power is totally insufficient. I say, "God, I cannot fight this thing on my own with willpower, and furthermore, I realize that to try is to take myself out of submission to You. I won't even try to resist outside of the power of Your Holy Spirit. I give myself to You. You do this thing through me by Your power." It is only then that I am able to rise up in the strength and power of God and actively fight against that enemy (that is what resist means). I use the Word of God as a sword and do battle with it. I resist in the name of Jesus (understanding that I have been given the authority to do so and am backed by His word and His name. It is totally His authority, but I must wield it.) I do so vocally and as long as it takes for the temptation to be defeated.

The second thing that I have learned is that the more I fall in love with Jesus, the less power temptation has over me. One of the keys, I have found, is to spend less time fixated on the temptation I am fighting and more time fixated on the object of my love and adoration, Jesus Christ.

Hope that helps
Travis


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Travis

 2010/2/11 20:20Profile
Richard365
Member



Joined: 2010/1/13
Posts: 42
USA

 Re: Finding it so hard to die to myself and carry my cross...

Thank you all for the words of encouragment.

To Goldminer: I see exactly where you are coming from. I also think that walking in the light is being totally honest and transparent with God. If we don't do that we only fool ourselves.

To Alreadymind: I read John 21 and I'm not clear on where Agape or Phileo love is in there. I understand how Jesus is asking Peter if he loves him more than success. In those times, if a fisherman could catch 153 fish on a regular basis, he'd be rich. I know that God tests us with thing to see if we love Him more than that new job or the new car or even our family. I'm just beginning to understand Grace through faith and I'm seeking the power of the Holy Spirit.

To CCrider: I so agree with that for us to be an effective witness, we need to share our struggles with eachother. In churches we only see people and how great they are doing or say they are doing. And we look at them wondering how we aren't like them. If people were just honest with eachother...

To Giggles: Thank you for those words...

To In the Light: Good stuff. I too have read some of Watchman Nees stuff and see the great importance of brokenness before we can become true men of God.

To Murrcolr: It's funny how we can go for a time and thing everything is good. Then something shakes us and all this bitter water float to the top of our so called pure cup. It's awesome how God shows us our true self.

To Twayneb: Great word. I do need to develope a deeper love for my Heavenly Father.

Thanks to you all...God Bless

 2010/2/12 14:52Profile





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