Luke 9:23-24 (NIV): “Then he said to them all: 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.'”
There are many ways that we can deny ourselves or “give up” something. Many people think of the Bible as a set of rules, which tells us that we cannot do, what we want to do. Jesus tells us that laws were given to us as a tutor or teacher and as we mature, we will ultimately have his laws in our hearts. Sometimes, we must discipline ourselves by denying ourselves, until we have a heart change. Dieting can illustrate this principle. If you constantly eat too much dessert, then you will see a change in your health. If you deny yourself the pleasure of eating too much, then you will see a positive change. Food is not our evil enemy, but over-indulgence is a bad idea. God does not give laws to burden us, but to guide us towards a better life. Is there anything in your life that is an indulgence; maybe, it is even a “good” thing, which is taking your time away from the Lord?Examine where you are spending your time and money, then ask yourself if there is something that you could “give up to get up;” Even for a short season, so you can give more attention to the Lord.