Thursday, January 6, 2011


Deny Yourself and Be Different.

The word that will forever be etched in my mind is “deny.” God breathes these words across my heart, “Lay down more of you, so you can pick up more of me… You are still way too comfortable. Get uncomfortable and follow me!”

Lay aside the bad relationship that is causing you to lower your standards and follow me;

Lay aside that situation screaming with sin potential and follow me;

Lay aside your “center stage” moments, come behind the scenes, and follow me.

At some point in our lives, we must make the decision to follow Jesus no matter what. No matter how much it costs, no matter where He leads. Even when our body aches to do what we want, we have to be willing to follow instead.

Let’s exchange glamorous for righteousness.

Who said denying ourselves would be easy and fun? Who said the red carpet would roll out and parties would be thrown because we served a meal to the homeless? It isn’t fun. It isn’t glamorous. It’s a roll up your sleeves and sweat through your shirt kind of work. Sometimes it's really hard.

I have trouble thinking of what modern day “denial of self” would look like. So just for fun, here are a few examples.

*Your day has been a total mess. Your un-showered hair smells like a wreck. You feel like pulling into the local shopping center, parking, and crying for a couple of hours. All you want to do is drown your sorrows and escape your pain. Instead of making a pit stop at the local bar, deny yourself that drink. Remove the chains of addiction and instead chain yourself to God’s purpose.

*Someone interrupts your day and engages you in gossip. You feel trapped. You want to plug your ears and go running for the hills, but there you are actively listening. Ears are burning and they aren’t yours. You know a juicy scoop that would go nicely on top of all the other slander. But you deny yourself the pleasure of telling what you know. You deny yourself by walking away and rejecting to participate in gossip.

*You become angry. You are in a fender bender. It was your fault but it feels good to blame the other person. You can stomp your feet, flail your arms, and cry out if you need to but deny yourself the satisfaction that anger and harsh words can bring. Deny yourself the speech of hateful words that would so easily roll right off your tongue and instead hold every thought captive.

*There is a steamy T.V. program on that you don’t want to miss. This show would make even your mamma sweat. You realize this program is not appropriate to watch but you want to see it anyway. Deny yourself the pleasure of being entertained by scandal and instead use that hour for devotional time.

For me, this year will be about denying myself. Not just sacrificing the purchase of a super cute outfit, but really denying myself to follow Jesus. Won’t you join me?

This post is written in response to Bonnie Gray's Faith Barista weekly topics. Please go check her out!


  1. Amen sister, I want to deny myself to pick up more of God as well. This is something I'm working on too. Thank you for this post.

  2. Amen! Although I'm ashamed to admit that I probably give in to my selfish desires way too much. Thanks for the inspiration to keep at it!

  3. "Get uncomfortable and follow me!”

    I love this!

    Heeding that call five years ago took us from sunny southern California,USA to not always sunny southern Russia. And we are still finding out things we need to change in our lives to truly let it all be about Him.

    Thank you for this post... denial isn't pretty but is has incredible rewards.

    Joy & blessings,

  4. Ok, Kelli - I gotta tell you that this hit me hard, "Lay down more of you, so you can pick up more of me… You are still way too comfortable. Get uncomfortable and follow me!” Wow! Deny yourself and be different. I haven't even finished the rest of your post yet, my heart was so resonating with this first paragraph. I am too comfortable. I'm feeling like something big is about to happen with God. I better watch out because I think I'm about to get uncomfortable. wow!

  5. Amen, girl! I'll join you! What a super-great post. I LOVE "Lay aside that situation screaming with sin potential and follow me; Lay aside your “center stage” moments, come behind the scenes, and follow me." That's what it's all about when you get down to it. It's choosing to follow Him in our everyday choices. What a great message. Thank you so much for sharing this :)

  6. Loved this post (and all of your blog that I peeked at). So glad to have made the connection. Joining you in denial of self.

  7. Great post Kelli.

    We could all certainly stand for some self-control and self-denial in the pursuit of a tighter relationship with Him. I love the phrase "Get uncomfortable and follow me!"... What a great rallying cry!

    Have a Blessed Day!

  8. "Even when our body aches to do what we want, we have to be willing to follow instead." It's true and this is where I'm at.

    Jesus give me the "want to" to do what you ask instead of what my body aches for! I want victory in you and about you, take me out of it.

    Thank you sweet friend for letting me share anything with you and for writing the words that I need to hear. Love you!!

  9. Sounds like a plan to me...goes along with my word for the year-MORE. In this case, less is more I guess. Less of me and my wants and needs and more of Him and His love :-)

  10. Great post Kelli! I want to deny Jenifer and follow Christ. Sounds like the best idea! :) Blessings!

  11. Enjoyed your post we all should deny ourselves but because we are so selfish we don't deny ourselves. We say we want to know more of who God is and to draw a closer relationship with Him, but we don't deny our flesh in order to do those things. Jesus tells us to pray more but we make excuses not to pray He tells us to read His word and we say we will do it later and later never comes. I do believe in my heart that until man's heart change they will never see God.

  12. Such good examples. I saw myself in a few too many of them. I need to deny myself more.

  13. I feel like this goes right along with what God is telling me for this coming year. Great examples, Kelli!

  14. Kelli, first of all, this post is great. Denying myself is something I'm trying to do right now in the shopping are of life. It's not that all I buy is wrong, but some of it is simply selfish and/or unnecessary. So, I'm denying myself a jacket and a sweater that I don't need because there are so many more that do. And there are so many other ways I need to practice this discipline!

    Second of all, I can't say thanks enough for helping my friends by putting their t-shirt button on your blog for their adoption process. That's awesome!! What a doer of the word you are!!!

  15. Thank you so much for visiting my following yours ~ love, love, love it! I can tell I'll be here for a while & coming back often as I make my way through and follow your wonderful posts!
    Blessings to you,
    Jill @ Sweet Diva

  16. Sweet Kelli,

    "This show would make even your mamma sweat. "

    You made me giggle there and it felt like I was hanging out on your front porch (on a summer's night, of course! It's too cold now).

    What a special encouragement you gave us with your word for the year.

    Denial. Your post was like a battle cry for the new year. And I loved being here to share this moment, stepping into the new year. Thanks for bringing us along! Happy New Year, Kelli!

  17. Wow, what an incredibly convicting post -- and such a strong word, "deny." I am inspired by your strength today (and I love the real-life examples you offer here!).

  18. Getting uncomfortable and denying myself too! I'm in! God Bless You Kelli. Always love coming in and hangin' here with you and your words.