Posted By Nan

Matthew 16:21-28
These verses are the start of Jesus’ preparing His disciples for His crucifixion and resurrection. Here Jesus is quite explicit about what is involved in following Him.
He told His disciples that coming with Him involved following. He was to lead, to control the direction. As the Message puts it. Jesus is in the driver’s seat. He told His disciples to embrace suffering instead of running from it. He didn’t leave them to wonder how to do that. He told them to follow Him and He would show them how to embrace suffering. He warned them to not do things for themselves, but instead to ask Him for help. I love the way the Message puts it: “Self help is no help at all”.
Jesus told the disciples that self sacrifice is the way Jesus leads to finding your true self. That is the danger of trying to do things on our terms. Of trying to get the things we want that are not what God has in mind for us. If we do that we lose ourselves.
Society today has a deep focus on finding yourself. Books are written, courses are run, even movies celebrate the pursuit of self. But unless you follow Jesus, you will not find yourself. When I say follow Jesus I mean that deep personal relationship with God that is directly between you and God. Not one mediated by others, by institutions, by books. The relationship you seek is to surrender yourself to following Jesus, to accepting whatever life gives you and turning to Jesus for direction in how to move forward. When you have that relationship then you have a relationship with God.
I have found in life that as my relationship with God has deepened, then my ability to discern His direction for my life has become easier. I have learned the art of being. Of sitting with what is and waiting patiently for God. I have discovered who I truly am and that is a wonderful feeling. I feel lighter, less burdened, each step of the journey to discovering my true self.
To rest in relationship with God. To move forward through life knowing He is with me. That is a wonderful way to be. This is the path of the follower.

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