I've been reading a book on prayer and it has shown me that I have not really denied myself much of anything at all.
Realy, to type it out is a bit embarrassing. I can't think of anything I've really denied myself for a long period of time.
The Lord has shown me this. What have I denied so that I could spend more time with HIM? What have I denied myself so that I could be healthier, and thus more able to serve my family? What have I denied myself so I could be available to serve the church? What have I denied myself to help Kyle and I reach goals in our life?
I have denied myself very little.
I have had to really confess this to the Lord and beg Him for the strength to live in the Spirit and not the Flesh and to run hard after Him and deny myself anything that would hinder my walk, or not be the "best" decision.
I think I originally viewed self-denial as a "trapped" feeling. I thought of all that I wouldn't have or shouldn't have... I have learned it is the exact opposite.
I have more time in prayer, which draws me closer to the Lord and helps me live in the Spirit and deny sin. I have more energy for my family, and to keep up with my toddler. I feel that I can say "yes" more because I am more organized with my time and priorities.
The wisdom of man is not the wisdom from above. How often do I think, even subconsciously, that God's ways don't make sense? Too often!
Here is to self-denial and running hard in the way He has called.