Keith Pate

And He (Jesus) said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Luke 9:23. (ESV)

In today’s world, denying ourselves anything is not a popular tenant. Yet in Scripture, it is the cornerstone of a faith filled disciple of Christ.

The type “followship” Jesus calls believers to is not as easy as it seems. Following in the good times, when blessings abound is not a struggle. It is when the call to deny yourself enters the equation that we often become disenchanted.

Recently, I have been learning a new solo to sing at the Baptist State Convention entitled: So Be It, written by Heather Sorenson. Karen Gosselin introduced me to this song when she sang it in worship this past year. This poignant prayer of surrender encapsulates the theme of Luke 9:23.

Some of the lyrics are as follows.

If you never part the sea,
Then I’ll walk with You on water.
If You never light my path, then I’ll hold on to Your hands.
If You never grow my dreams, but grow my faith instead,
You’re the Living Bread; and You see what lies ahead.
So be it.

If You never do the miracle I thought I’d see You do,
If You never feed five thousand with the gifts I give to You,
If the things I think I need will keep my heart from knowing
The peace that comes from growing in You, then let me say:
So be it.

Denying ourselves is no fun! In recent months, I have once again been working on losing weight through more sensible eating and exercise. To accomplish this goal, I must deny myself those second and third helpings, snacks and sweet treats that I crave. Hopefully, through repeated efforts, I will retrain myself to create healthier eating habits. In the process of denial, I am learning that I feel better when living in a more disciplined manner.

To live in obedient faith, as conveyed in the song, we must deny ourselves. We must place our will in the hands of our Heavenly Father and often accept things that make no sense with earthly eyes, realizing God has a greater plan and purpose. It is allowing God to be “Boss” as Brittney Gardner stated in her testimony Sunday. Is it easy? Certainly not! The old nature creeps in over and over again, but with persistent prayer, Bible Study and encouragement from our faith community we persevere.

Denial of our selfish desires is key to our success as followers of Jesus Christ. May we walk in His strength and wisdom this week!


Keith Pate About Keith Pate

Keith is originally from Castleberry, AL in Conecuh County. He joined Eastern Hills as Minister of Music in January of 2005 from Anastasia Baptist Church in St. Augustine, FL.