“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself….and follow me.”  Matthew 16:24

“May the Lord cut off …the tongue that speaks proud things, who have said, ‘With our tongue we will prevail…who is lord over us?'”  Psalm 12:3,4

Dear Sisters and Brothers I can not honestly say whether this post will be uplifting or more of a lamentation of the world, yet in all things His Name Be Praised.

Hearing voices is a major topic in the world today and by this I’m not talking about the individual hearing voices for that is a different condition than to what I refer.  No, I am referring to the aspect of my voice, that is the individual’s voice being heard.  For we hear the lack of the individual’s voice being heard is the fundamental issue to so many ills in the world.  It is said that people become “radicalized” because their voice is not heard without it.  We hear that people riot and carry out all sorts of disobedience due to being disenfranchised because they are not heard.  So let me state hear for the record and I guess am saying please “hear me” when I say that I’m not in any way saying we shouldn’t listen to others or contemplate what they are saying; far from it.

However, what I am saying, based on the Word and the example of Jesus Christ, is how much emphasis should we put on our own thoughts and expressing those thoughts?  I wondering what is the heavenly legitimate response if I think I’m not being heard versus a worldly legitimate response?

Let’s start with Jesus Christ.  Jesus proclaimed and we affirm that Jesus is the one and only Christ, the true begotten Son of God, God come down to earth.  So seemingly, Jesus would have every right to proclaim His ministry as His own.  To proclaim to all: “Listen to Me for My Own Sake!”  Would Jesus have not been correct to command that He be worshiped as God?  How incredibly interesting that Jesus did not do that!  Jesus said His preaching was not His own but came from His Father in Heaven.  Jesus did not say that He was on His own mission but fulfilling the mission given to Him by His Father in Heaven.  Jesus did not call for His own glory but stated His was there to glorify His Father in Heaven.  In doing so, Jesus proclaims that His mission is to die on this earth.  Then we hear the voice of man jump in.  We hear the voice of the creation try to contradict the voice of the Creator.  Peter, the voice man, takes Jesus, the voice of God, aside and tries to tell Jesus that He is wrong.  Jesus then makes His proclamation, His judgement and of course He is right.  For in that moment, when man is trying to trump the Word of God, when man is trying to say that his wisdom is equal to or greater than the Creator’s; just like what happened in the garden at the beginning; man is doing the bidding of Satan.  Jesus is blunt; we must deny ourselves in the face of God.

In the 12th Psalm, David knows the danger all too well.  He calls on God to quiet the tongue of the proud.  He knows the human inclination to pride and pronouncements that our voice is paramount and no voice is more important the ours.

Yet, like in the garden, yet like Peter when we hear something we don’t agree with, we feel obliged to make our voice heard.  More over, it is not just about being heard, for if you fail to agree with me, if you do not do as I desire, then you are denying me and I am completely within my rights to avenge myself and your insult upon you.  You and your disrespect has caused me to be a radical, I have and am right to be angry and to take that anger out in any way I feel legitimate.  That seems the way of the world today.

Adam failed and Peter failed to deny themselves.  I know that I often and I believe it is a we thing don’t deny ourselves.  Even in this and other postings, if I were to claim that these are based on my wisdom (if indeed any wisdom is contained in them), my discernment, my studious nature, I would be living in delusion and self aggrandizement versus self denial.  Thanks be to God that I know that is not the case.  Any wisdom, any accuracy, all talent to communicate comes from and through Jesus Christ.

If there is any uplifting nature in this, and I believe there is much to be joyous and praise filled about, it is God does not leave us in our self delusion.  Our merciful Heavenly Father, through the Holy Spirit gives us the strength to combat the worldly message of Satan.  He gives us the wherewithal to not only deny ourselves but to also pick up our cross.  Through humble prayer we can receive the blessed insight of the all sufficiency of God’s Wisdom, God’s Mission and that giving the glory to Him versus seeking it ourselves is the only proper response.  It is through Him, that we can understand that we are listened to by Him whether the world hears us or not.

The world at large, even though created by God, did not heed the voice of His Son.  I can not expect that they would pay any more attention to one who follows Him.  This I do know and proclaim, by the Blessed Mercy of our Heavenly Father, He hears my voice in heaven and it is not ignored.  That is all the hearing I need know about.

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, You, through Your Son Jesus Christ have called upon us to deny ourselves and follow You.  Forgive us Dear Father when we would rather have our own voices heard, our own voices glorified instead of Yours.  Through Your Spirit, grant that we might come to deny ourselves and joyfully follow Your Voice, knowing also that you hear and do not ignore our voice, our cries.  That in denying ourselves, carrying our cross and putting Your voice before ours, we would live lives that praise Your Most Holy Name.  We pray in the Name of Jesus Christ amen.