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The Princess Syndrome (2 of 6)

Mike Connell

Page 6 of 10
So the third thing that Jesus said to him: you are stumbling me. In other words, this kind of thinking is an obstacle. You know, there's humanity to it as well. He wrestled with this thing, of going to the cross; and when He prayed in the Garden, and sweated blood and tears, His whole humanity didn't want to die. He sweated over that one. That's why He said: you coming along, and telling Me I shouldn't do it, that's a real stumbling stone for Me. I need you to say: yes, go for the will of God! Not every reason why I shouldn't.

And the last thing He said, so He identified the source of the statement: look out for yourself, and give me, as being the devil. The impact is an offence, or a stumbling block; and He said: the root of it, is in the way you think, because you have more concern, and your affections are set on, what people think, rather than what God thinks. So He identifies that the core, or the spirit behind it, is the devil. He identified that it stumbles you, in your walk with God, when you get exposed to it; and He said: it all has to do with what's of the highest value in your thinking, in your life. Are the things of God important to you, or are the things men more important? He's not saying you shouldn't be concerned with the issues of life. He's saying: it's about priorities; and so there'll always come a point, where what you feel you'd like to do, what you would want to do, what would be nice to do, comes in conflict with what God wants you to do; and that's when you meet the next part, which is what Jesus says. He used it as an opportunity to instruct, about what it means to be His disciple, and here it is.

He said: if anyone desires to come after Me - that's anyone - who desires to come after Jesus? Well we all do, we all sort of, it's not a trick question. The word desire there means literally: has any one here purposed to follow Jesus, anyone purposed to be His follower, to walk in the same path with Him. He says: this is what it's going to take, to stay on the same path; here's what it'll take, these three things: Let him deny himself; take up his cross; follow Me. You can't get that clearer. I haven't preached on that verse for a long time, and people don't like that verse, because you know what it's got in it? Two very uncomfortable things - number one: deny yourself; and we don't like to have that one in there; and number two: take up your cross. We don't want crosses, we want power and glory! [Laughter]. But before the glory, there's the cross; and if it took Jesus to go through the crossm into the glory, there will be points in our life in following Him, where the will of God, and our will, will cross; and that's when you have to make the choices. It's in those costly choices, that you find the favour of God. That's where resurrection comes.

So number one, deny self. Any man come after Me, he must deny himself. So what it's saying is this: you've actually got to recognise, that the self-centred, what's-in-this-for-me, give-me mentality must be rejected. You actually have to make decisions to reject, and these are daily decisions. Now it's not about proper care for needs, proper managing your finances, proper looking out for emotional and physical needs, or keeping yourself fit, or anything like that. It's actually the whole issue of a self-centred way of thinking and acting. What's in this for me, is no longer my viewpoint. Now if you think about this, if everywhere I went, I changed; and no longer was it: what's in this for me; but: what can I give; you would be on the path to kingdom thinking. You do the counselling in the marriage - how many of them come in: what am I going to get out of this, you know? What can you give me? I want sex, I want this, I want that; and you've got to re-orient their whole thinking - actually what do you bring into this thing? You're bringing in very little. You're not ready for marriage yet. Isn't that how it works?

In other words, people come into the relationship thinking: what can I get out of this marriage, and they end up destroying it. But if they came in saying: what can I bring into this marriage, what can I give in to this marriage - that would start to build it. That's true of every arena in life. If you approach it from not: what's in this for me, but: what can I do to serve? How can I give in to this? Then you'll radically change your view of life: what can I give? How can I serve? How can I help? What can I do? You see it's a way of thinking, that just says: no, to: what do I get out of this? What do I get out of this anyway? The whole path - number one, deny self. Now every one of you has to face that, it's your own journey, where you have to deny self. I can't do that for you unfortunately. You could pray a prayer, but that won't do any good. Could have an altar call - that won't do any good either, because at the end, you still have to say: NO! No! No to me; yes to others. That's what it'll boil down to.