Matthew 16:24 (ESV) – 24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
Why is it so hard to deny oneself?
Denying yourself means that you act in a way where you are totally unconcerned about self, where you are actively refusing to acknowledge your own desires, ambitions, dreams, wants, needs.
That is tough!
But it is what I need to do in order to follow Christ – because Christ needs to become more important to me than myself, and that is unnatural to any human. So, all of us need help, and the disciples were no exception.
Good thing they had this promise from Jesus:
Acts 1:8 (ESV) – 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
When you choose to deny yourself, it is because the Holy Spirit is working inside of you to aid you in that task.
Make sure to thank Him for His work.