“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
A Call to Denial, by Gini Kittle
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The other day I was profoundly challenged while reading my devotional, Mornings with Tozer.  He began by marveling at the rigorous demands the Lord expects of His followers.  “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24).  The Lord laid down such severe rules for entry into His kingdom not because He wants to but because He has to.  If the Lord is going to save us, He must save us from ourselves.  As A. W. Tozer put it, “It is the ‘himself’ which has enslaved and corrupted the man.”
 
Then Tozer made a statement that reverberated through my heart not only as I read it … but for days. 
“Deliverance comes only from denial of that self.”   My spirit immediately knew that this is a truth we are desperately in need of hearing and heeding in these days.  By ourselves, none of us can shed the chains that bind us.  We cannot truly follow the Lord until we come to the end of ourselves — until we deny ourselves and surrender completely to God.  Denial brings deliverance!
 
Perhaps this is why so few believers in our day consistently walk in freedom and power.  Most American believers live
selfish lives, lives that look for what else they can get from God.  But the early church lived self-less lives, lives that longed to give all they could for God.  Let us choose to be like them by denying ourselves and being delivered from selfish living.  Instead, let’s follow the Lord’s leading completely and with abandonment.  I long to see how much He can do through my life when it is unreservedly surrendered to Him!

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