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"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." (‭Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭13‬ ESV)

Doesn't it always seem like we are scheming to get our needs met? We are angling, we are conniving, we are trying to work the angles so that we get what we want.

What if things were different, and we chose to live differently? What if we strategized on how we could be the biggest blessing to others? What if we weren't so concerned about what we need, and try to meet others needs? How would the church change, how would the world change, and how would we change if that is what we were all about?

I spend so much time dreaming about and planning out all the things I want to do. Do I really need to spend so much time wondering and dreaming about those things? What would it take to start living differently?

It is a simple as believing the words of Jesus and acting upon them. He said, "If anyone would come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Matthew 16:24 ESV)

I might choose to deny myself some simple pleasure, but a lifestyle of self-denial seems like it can get pretty extreme right? I mean is it really realistic with all the things clamoring for my attention? If I'm truly honest it's almost like I want others to look out only for their own interest first because then it gives me permission to do so. It's pretty convicting when people live selflessly. But that is Jesus' call, that is the goal, that is the ideal and expectation for those who claim to follow Him.

This is where it gets excruciatingly painful. Where it feels as if the tide is pulling you out so you want to go the other direction. It's where it gets really easy to talk yourself into saying yes to yourself and no to serving the needs of others. It is a daily battle. It is a moment by moment choice. And it will take everything we have and us obeying the Holy Spirit in order for it to come about. Kind of like what Jesus said to the rich young ruler.

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