How much more effective can we be in Kingdom purposes if we walk, following Christ, being eternally minded?
"Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also]." Matthew 16:24 (amplified)
The more I ask God about what denying myself means, the more clearly I understand that it is "to be eternally minded". When we have a temporal mindset we are concerned with the pursuit of earthly pleasures and the things of this life, however we are to set our mind on things above. Colossians 3:1 & 2 amp Bible). "If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth."
Paul was effective in Kingdom purposes and his mindset proved essential to his effectiveness. For example, in 2 Corinthians 4:10-18, Paul explains in verse 10 "Always carrying about in the body the liability and exposure to the same putting to death that the Lord Jesus suffered, so that the [resurrection] life of Jesus also may be shown forth by and in our bodies.."
When we believe, when we seek and pursue the truth which is eternal, we become effective for His Kingdom, and in doing so, evidence of the resurrection life of Jesus in us is produced and recognized. Effectiveness is birthed out of believing; our choices become a reflection of our mindset.
It says in 2 Corinthians 4:13,'' Yet we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, I have believed, and therefore have I spoken. We too believe, and therefore we speak...'' Paul, and those with him, continued to believe and speak effectively for the Kingdom even though they faced hardships. This was another evidence that they had eternal focus as they were not concerned about their earthly comforts or reputations.
In Acts 1:7-8, Jesus tells the apostles, ''It is not for you to become acquainted with and know what time brings... but you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses...'' . Then, after Jesus ascended, the apostles were challenged by two men in white robes who asked them why they were still watching heaven. They were not to feel sorry for themselves that their time with Jesus here on earth was over, they were to go and wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit so they could be empowered to walk in God's purposes.
The apostles then gathered together and united in prayer. After being initiated by Peter, they as one body, went forward into the next season. Miracles took place that were undeniable and many became followers of Jesus. The disciples were of one mind; eternally focused. God showed me that when we have an eternal mindset we have an eternal impact. It is an awesome thing to know that we can do things for Him here on earth that will out last us.
In 1 Samuel the Israelites went to Samuel and requested a king, to be like all other nations (1 Samuel 8:5-6). Samuel was displeased and went directly to the Lord. He warned the Israelites of the consequences as God instructed him, yet they demanded a king be appointed anyway (1 Samuel 8:18-20). In doing this, the Israelites KNOWINGLY denied their Lord simply because they wanted to be like all other nations...
God revealed in this scripture that the Israelites, though they were His chosen people, were not of an eternal mindset. Their focus was on themselves and their immediate desire. They wanted to have a king like other nations who would govern over them and fight their battles. Because their focus was not on the eternal, they denied their God, and served themselves.
To deny ourselves, means to ""[disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests]" Matthew 16:24, Amplified. The Israelites did the opposite.
There is an eternal impact when we choose to obey God or choose not to obey Him. In denying Him instead of ourselves we will not be in line with God's will and will sacrifice many things that matter eternally for a few temporal joys and momentary fulfillments. We are to seek first the kingdom of God and he will look after the rest (Matt 6:33). His Kingdom Is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost as well as empowerment to accomplish His will. (Romans 14:17 and Acts 1:8) These are things we should not be so quick to give up for our own ways. Again....How much more effective can we be in Kingdom Purposes if we walk, following Christ, being eternally minded?
Inid lives in Blackfalds Alberta with her husband Ryan and her 2 beautiful children. Because of her passion for worship and prayer God has opened the door for her to lead worship in a local congregation and be part of the Partners In Christ prayer team. She enjoys helping and connecting with others and just loves to loves people.