Denying Ourselves – Luke 9:23

By Tammy Burke

How often do you deny yourself of something?

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” Luke 9:23 NASB95

What does it mean to deny ourselves?

Our online community, Follower of One got its name from a conversation I had with some friends. The conversation was about leadership and someone said a leader was someone who “had followers.” I said I never followed anyone. I don’t think any leader really “has” anyone. People choose to submit, join, cooperate, and invest. But “follow” always seemed like I needed to become a passive, do-what-I’m-told kind of person.

After that conversation, the Holy Spirit convicted me. If I don’t follow Jesus, my life doesn’t work. My eternity becomes a blooper that I can never take back. Imagine having 80 years to get something right and blowing it forever. The only right answer is to follow Jesus instead of anything else. In the end, it’s following ourselves or others. We can’t help but follow. Jesus didn’t call us sheep all the time for no reason.

My biggest obstacle to following Jesus is me. You don’t have me as an obstacle. You’re too busy dealing with you. We are each our own worst enemy. That’s why Jesus clearly states in almost every translation of this passage the words, deny himself. We must tell ourselves, “no!” That is step one.

But the negative isn’t motivation. We need to focus on something else. We focus on Jesus and do what he did. Let’s talk about that tomorrow.

Check out the Morning Mindset podcast. It’s a 5-minute daily devotional podcast like Follower of One but Carey Green does it. Check it out at

Also, why not join us and practice denying yourself? Go to and request an invitation to our next Marketplace Mission Trip.

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