What are you going to give up this year? How about your SELF?

sunset 2It’s easy to look at the scale or the food you eat and think about what you want to give up to be healthier physically .  It is NOT easy however, to look at what to give up to make your heart and your soul healthy!

Galations 2:20 says “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.

We no longer live, it is Christ who lives in us.  But He can’t do amazing works in you if you don’t deny yourself and your sinful nature first.

What is God asking you to give up this year? Do you have a nagging feeling God wants you to turn something over to Him so He can refine you? God is always refining us, always fine tuning, molding, shaping. God takes people out of our lives and puts them in our lives for a purpose, we are transforming.  How is God transforming you?  Are you willing to be molded, shaped, changed for His purpose? Or are you holding on to you because it is comfortable, easier to take control of your own life?

To refine us, we need to give some things up.  Because we are sinful by nature, we need to intentionally make an effort to DENY SIN in our lives.

What does this look like for you?  What has the HOLY SPIRIT put on your heart to give up?

Let me give you some examples and see if any of them sound like you…

Do you have a negative, critical attitude? Do you always see the down side of things? If you are not sure if this is you, ask those around you!!

Do you complain often? Don’t think you are much of a complainer? Again ask your friends and co-workers if they think you complain (by the way, it’s often called VENTING).

Do you worry often?  Are you anxious? Give it to God.  As my pastor said “If you are worrying, then you are not trusting God, if you are trusting God, then there is no reason to worry!”

Matthew 6:25 says “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.Are you not much more valuable than they?”

Are you impatient? If Jesus were to follow you around and see all of your interactions, would he see an inpatient nature?  Do you often think of your time as your own and think other people are wasting it?  Try using the extra time you spend waiting in line at the store, waiting for your check at a restaurant or in bad traffic to pray and find something to be thankful for! Trust me there is plenty to be thankful for!

Are you selfish?  Do you want the best for yourself and not really think about how it affects others? When people ask you how you are doing, do you go on and on about yourself?  Maybe you don’t even think about it.  Try going for a day without talking about yourself! It’s hard because we are selfish by nature!!

What about self-pity?  Do you think that you are a victim of your circumstances?  Do you blame others for your sin?  When you make a mistake, is it easier to admit your own guilt or to make excuses and claim your innocence?

Most importantly, do you need to deny your PRIDE?

God detests Pride (Proverbs 6:16).  Simply put, pride is feeling that you deserve better, more, or taking credit for God’s work.  God considers pride an ABOMINATION – that is, something that causes disgust. Unfortunately it is our nature as humans to put ourselves first.  Put someone else first for a change and DENY YOURSELF.

I implore you to take a hard look at yourself…What can you give up this year?  How about all of it?  Let God transform you!

Start off the new year by cutting out SIN, deny yourself, and letting Christ live in you!