31 Jan Day 8
Scripture: Luke 9:23 NLT – “Then he said to the crowd, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.’”
Observation: Jesus is inviting those who wish to follow him to give up their own way of life and live in the way that he teaches. As he is addressing the crowd, we can see that this invitation is not exclusive and that all of us have the opportunity to live life his way.
Application: According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, humility can be defined as the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people. Another way of defining it is that humility is the absence of and freedom from pride. Over the next three days, we will be discussing humility and how we can break down our pride through surrender, confession, and forgiveness. Today, I will be sharing with you the importance of surrender.
I enjoy spending time by myself. But when we are isolated with only the opinions and limited knowledge that we offer ourselves, this can really build up our pride. And with pride comes thinking that only we know what’s best for our lives and how they should go. It also allows space for the enemy to cloud our minds with negative thoughts and lies about ourselves.
Growing up, I would use my introversion as an excuse to isolate myself. After over twenty years of doing this, I began to create this false identity where most of my characteristics were negative. I thought of myself as lazy, socially awkward, and unlovable. But the worst part of it all was that I was unwilling to change the narrative. I was unwilling to surround myself with people who could see and speak truth into my life. And I was unwilling to allow God to change the way I saw myself because I thought I knew myself better than anyone else. It wasn’t until lockdown in 2020, when I had experienced a low point with my mental health, that I began to realize complete isolation was hindering me from becoming the person God created me to be.
The first step to true surrender is willingness. In the first part of the scripture, Jesus says, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way.” Surrender doesn’t mean giving up on everything. In this case, Jesus is inviting us to give up the things that are holding us captive so that we can take up his truth and follow him fully. God cannot work with an unwilling heart. The scripture also tells us to take up our cross daily – surrender is a process we must commit to every day. A new day brings new opportunities which can also bring new struggles. Take the time to ask God to remove any pride or selfish desires from your life so that you can fully lean into him.
We can’t do this alone. I found the more I invested in relationships with others going the same direction spiritually as me, it was easier to fight the lies and negative thoughts. I surrounded myself with people who could speak truth and pray over any struggle that I was facing. God has so much in store for us. We just need to be willing to surrender our plans, take up our cross daily, and follow the plans that God has for our lives. How will you take up your cross today?
Prayer: Father God, thank you for giving me the opportunity to follow your Son and live life his way. I pray that I have the humility to surrender those negative thoughts and desires so that I can step into the blessings you have for me. Continue to remind me that I am not alone and that I will overcome the lies of the enemy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- Pray and ask God if there’s anything in your life that may be keeping you from following Jesus fully.
- Get connected in a J-Group!
- Invest in people who will keep you accountable and speak God’s truth over your life.
Staci Turk / Social Media Team Leader; Videography J-Teamer; Evening Program Core+ Leader
Staci has been attending The Journey for almost two years. This past fall, she led a J-Group called Faith & Mental Health which allowed a safe space for others to connect and open up about daily struggles surrounding their mental health. Because of opportunities like connecting in J-Groups and serving through leadership, Staci has developed a passion to encourage others to grow in their faith and become all that God has created them to be.
Jayme RolloPosted at 05:27h, 31 January
Wow Staci, what a powerful devotional! It is so easy to fall into the trap of isolating yourself with your own thoughts. Thank you for reminding us that this is not the way the Lord designed us to live. So grateful for you!
Jen ParisiPosted at 05:32h, 31 January
This message really spoke to me today. Thank you for sharing this about yourself.
Kearline JonesPosted at 06:06h, 31 January
Kearline JonesPosted at 06:06h, 31 January
Thank you so very much
Court NeilPosted at 07:05h, 31 January
Thanks for sharing, Staci! What a great devotional!!
Barbara HarringtonPosted at 07:30h, 31 January
Thank you for your devotion ❤️
Lanikka RiddockPosted at 07:35h, 31 January
Amen . And thank you.
Omar McNeillPosted at 07:36h, 31 January
Gina ForgionePosted at 07:56h, 31 January
Great message thank you for sharing!
Jose santiagoPosted at 08:04h, 31 January
🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽✝️✝️✝️✝️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ May god continue to to surround you bless you and give you the tools necessary to keep spreading the experiences and opportunities that made you grow in your faith and give those the courage to open up like you did and take next steps….the harvest is great but the workers are few ~Mathew 9:36 NLT
Alfred R CeaserPosted at 08:31h, 31 January
Good teaching and keep growing.
Misty WilliamsPosted at 08:39h, 31 January
Thank you for sharing!
Wendy NorrisPosted at 09:04h, 31 January
Thank you for your devotional!. It’s so awesome to be reminded we don’t have to this alone. Great message!
Cynthia ChandlerPosted at 09:44h, 31 January
Thank you for the message. I consider myself an introvert for fear of getting hurt. The time I spent alone had the enemy filling my head with false narratives about me. MY goal for this year is to connect with people and feel
confident to live my best life according to God. This message resonated with me.. Thank you.
Stacey WinnsPosted at 10:48h, 31 January
Thank You Staci!
Maryann TaylorPosted at 14:13h, 31 January
Appreciate this !
Thank you for sharing 😊
Karen WilliamsPosted at 07:34h, 01 February
This one hit home with me as a family member of mine has fallen into this trap! Thank you for sharing this insightful message!
Laura CristPosted at 08:36h, 01 February
A wonderful message about how we need to love ourselves and feel worthy.Our God will meet us where we are if we let him. Love the sound of your J-group you started. Would be wonderful to have one like that for teens. Thank you again for sharing your story.
Andrea KnightPosted at 04:55h, 03 February
Wow…Thank you for sharing!