“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) God tells us that we must set aside our selfishness in order to fully follow Him. This is an inordinate task that we can only carry through to completion by being fully dependent upon Him. By following Him, we are to serve Him and others “…not for what you [we] will get out of it, but because you [we] are eager to serve.” (1 Peter 5:2).
Here is an excerpt of a song by Chris Sligh entitled “Empty Me.” This chorus truly captures the heart of what I want my life to reflect.
“Empty me of the selfishness inside
Every vain ambition and the poison of my pride
And any foolish thing my heart holds to
Lord empty me of me so I can be filled with you.”
I must confess to God that I have sinned against Him by placing “selfishness inside” of me, over His will, and by centering my life on my “vain ambition[s]” and by allowing my self-conceit to believe that I can be independent of Him.
Lord empty me of all selfishness and help me serve you and others with humility. Allow me to regard others as better than myself (Philippians 2:3). Help mark my life as serving you, by surrendering myself and being “filled with you.” Help me be successful and victorious by your own strength, not mine.
I pray that we can renounce our prideful spirits and allow God to guide us, so that we can humbly say we are willing to be controlled by Him.