“If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himSELF, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”
The key to fighting self-pity is self-denial. Jesus could have focused on all His problems, all the suffering and all He was about to endure. But He wouldn’t have anything to do with it.
In Matt: 16:21 Jesus has just explained to his disciples that He would need to suffer many things and that He would ultimately be killed. Peter pulls Jesus aside and rebukes Him for saying such things. Jesus saw the trap and He didn’t fall for it. He turns to Peter and says
“Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me – you are not setting your mind on God’s interests but man’s.”
When Peter tried to convince Jesus to not go to the cross it was Satan wrapped up a bundle of self-pity looking like concern and care.
Self-pity is selfish. We fall for it when someone pities us instead of empowering us. Satan used a close friend, a disciple to deliver the temptation. Praise God that Jesus saw right through the disguise.
How do you deny yourself when you really are going through a difficult time and could use a little empathy and self-pity? Denying yourself is a daily choice. Paul said “I die daily.” In other words if you truly desire to live a life which is pleasing to God you must choose to be led of the Holy Spirit instead of your own desires and emotions. Is it hard? Absolutely. Can it be done? Absolutely. Hebrews 12:1 tells us to
“… lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us…”
The word is saying that whatever weighs you down and holds you back from furthering God’s kingdom, get rid of it.
Jesus didn’t seem very nice when He looked at Peter and called him Satan. When you are dealing with such a seductive sin such as self-pity, there is little room for niceties. When you begin to deny yourself to fulfill God’s will it is painful. How can you deny yourself when it comes to self-pity?
The first step is by asking the Lord to show you each time you come under that demonic influence. Then when you are being tempted to say or do something that would draw attention to your plight, deny yourself. The pull will be very strong to fall back into your old habits of moaning and groaning for attention. Cry out to God at that very moment – ask Him to give you the power to deny your flesh. Rebuke the spirit of self-pity and tell it that it has no power over you!
If you are in a room with people who might give into your self-pity, walk out of the room. Change the atmosphere so that you don’t give into the temptation. You will need to see yourself as an emotional alcoholic. You want to pull up to the “bar” of self-pity and pour yourself a drink, just one. Yet you know that it will be your downfall. Those who have self-pity enjoy the power they hold over others.
Now, the Word goes on to reveal the secret as to how Jesus didn’t get caught up with self-pity and went on to fulfill the will of God, as difficult as it was. Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus –
“Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame…”
There it is, the secret is that He looked ahead to the future. He focused on the power and the joy that the cross would bring. He focused not on what He had to suffer, but on what the end result would be. Denying Himself was not easy.
You will find that it will not be easy for you. One thing we know, that with the Holy Spirit living in you, you can and will overcome this bondage https://jackieosinski.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/not-an-option/
Today start to change your focus. No longer focus on your problems, your pain, your difficulties – focus on God’s Word and His promises. Focus on the power God will pour into you when you no longer focus on yourself but on doing God’s will. Pray daily for the Lord to give you the right focus, the right mind-set and the awareness when you are off track.
Put on the Armor of God daily. As you put on your helmet of salvation say out loud “Today I refuse to come under a spirit of self-pity”
Daily refuse to come under this demonic bondage.