Someone who entrusts himself to Jesus Christ for better or for worse has great experiences. The Christian can, even if rarely, pass on these experiences as testimonies again and again. But these moments do not depend on the Christian. He himself cannot ensure that his report encounters faith. Therefore, it is important to realize that the way in Jesus Christ is never possible out of one's own drive and motivation. Only Jesus Christ decides and who wants to serve him makes the maximum mistake when he claims a special consecration or a special blessing for himself.
Matthew 16,24 Then Jesus told his disciples, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
Every Christian, no matter how humble, is always tempted to make his own program out of service to Jesus. If he falls into this trap, he will be fine for a while until the matter miraculously gets between his fingers. In this phase the Christian has two options:
Chance 2 is seized by the experienced and the inexperienced Christian. The inexperienced Christian does not count at all on his own strength and is therefore automatically dependent on Jesus. The experienced Christian has been calling himself again and again to do nothing on his own initiative. He knows that the strength that always held him and helped him returns to his life and actions all by itself. It is an essential characteristic of the work of the Holy Spirit that the person concerned becomes very quiet and satisfied and puts his Christian ego and Christian desires at the back.
Mark 8,34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
Never can a Christian do services for the claims of an organization and accept to be under the Holy Spirit in this way. Likewise, a Christian cannot want to work for Jesus according to his own ideas and claims. The realization that we must never realize ourselves and our ideas when we are on the road on behalf of the Lord is one of the most important steps in the discipleship of Jesus.
Luke 9,23 And he said to all, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
Many Christians believe that they must always and always and every day and every minute with a lowered gaze and a mild smile endure every imposition in order to fulfill Jesus' demand for self-denial. But it is precisely at this point that self-realization becomes even more perfidious because it hides and wears a cloak of humility begging for attention. A person cannot perform the mental performance of a continuous self-denial at all. That's how realistic we have to be. It may be, however, that he is given permanent humility, but he can never produce it on his own. Everything that a Christianized being has cannot really be Christian. In other words, a Christian is never disguised as Christian. For the Christian whitewash only peels off and has no hold.
Monks and nuns and their applied cultic behaviour are an example of a self-made Christian facade. Among the Christians visible to the public there are Christian facades in all colours and shades. A notable Christian façade is that of the mildly smiling Jehovah's Witnesses. They are taught to play with seemingly Christian attitudes in courses. But it can also happen to genuine Christians that they regard their own claims as the will of the Lord Jesus and thus address self-denial only to themselves and make it self-realization. Then the true Christians also slide into the waters of those who follow Jesus only in appearance.
Every human activity is only theatre. It is precisely this theatre that requires us to prove time and again to ourselves and to others that we are in the following of Christ. The hands are piously folded, the gaze humbly lowered, but also the message is spread with cutting and a clear gaze that one has the mission of Jesus. This can become so stiff that there is no more room for insight. Self exaltation is the result and others are called failures or worse.
Who can wait for Jesus? Who can stand when nothing happens for a long time and the inner call has fallen silent? Who can bear to accept the loud calling silence within himself as what it is? We are all tempted in such a situation to set the accustomed line as the yardstick all the more firmly and to best bury ourselves in it with concrete and dowels. But then we have exchanged the hold in Christ with the hold through our own construction, which we have built ourselves in best knowledge and conscience.
But the best knowledge and conscience can only be human. It is valid only in this world, not with Jesus. The only thing that counts with Jesus is that he has spoken clearly and his words resonate: If anyone wants to follow him, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow him!
One of the main aspects of the cross in following Christ is bearing insecurity and untidy situations. Do not overestimate what you are used to, endure the feeling of emptiness, do not take yourself so seriously and realize that you cannot do anything without it. This means that self-denial begins exactly where inner peace can only be maintained by one's own initiative. Not to allow inner insecurity and inner turmoil here, but to fight down according to the good old Christian tradition by exertion and tension, is the wrong way to turn self-denial into self-realization.
Because all doing from one's own insight and one's own costumes is self-realization. Self-denial, on the other hand, is silent waiting for the Lord Jesus Christ even when the question why things do not go on as usual seems unbearable. Christian man, on the other hand, likes to take the supposed remedy of the brisk tension of continuing, which, incidentally, is the main theme of Watchtower literature. This brisk tension of carrying on the work promptly obscures the gaze and darkens the heart and brain. One is so beautifully protected in one's own wild aspirations. But that one's own striving is not valid with Jesus is lost and no longer emerges. In the heart of a Christian, self-realization and self-denial lie so close together that waiting for Jesus is the order of the day. For no one can enlighten himself about the will of the Lord Jesus, but only Jesus can teach us about it. And as long as nothing seems to come from Jesus, we have to wait for him and his instructions. There is no point in using and implementing our own ideas and wishes as a substitute. Above all, this does not correspond to the clear statement of Jesus: Deny yourself!
So Christian doing and doing can also become a mockery for Jesus. Unfortunately, this often happens without one noticing. Even hints from other Christians can no longer stop a wacky, self-realizing Christian. Only when the good shepherd catches the sheep again, a conversion in this matter is possible. Here, too, one's own efforts are not only counterproductive, but also harmful. The recognition of Jesus can never come from our power. We get it because we turn our hearts to him. But never by our own strength or insight. There is no pocket calculator, no tablet and no crowbar to help. Also here waiting for him is the highest Christian duty.
Modern politics and a hypocritical science (gender mainstreaming) have exactly what it takes to make people independent of Jesus. Like the Christian, who would rather listen to himself than to Jesus, only serves himself, the great program of good people is set up in our society. It is the substitute religion with a green-left Catholic character. Catholic, green and left-wing good people fight doggedly for goodness. In the meantime they already do this with percussion instruments, incendiary devices and for a very long time with structural violence. Those who don't submit to good humankind lose their job, get their car set on fire or their house ruined with slurry and paint. Anyone who submits to good people like ARD, ZDF and Youtube can count on generous profit maximization.
Good humanity is characterized by the realization of the human moral ego. It is not self-denial that takes place, but only the realization of one's own standards and utopias. If this self-realization then means a few hours or a few euros of effort, then one can nicely frame the certificate on which it says:
... has taken the cross upon himself ...
But what cross is this? Is the cross of Christ there to adulate itself? The great suffering of the Greens, the Left and the Catholics is pure self-adulation. And a Christian who does not wait for Jesus and prefers to do his own thing adores himself.
Unfortunately, the sin that a self-congratulatory person does does not stop at other people. Other people are put under massive pressure, so that today already conditions prevail which strongly remind of the street fights before the Hitler time. But also in Christian circles the powerful exercise power and violence from above to force other people to do something. And in the smallest Christian circle this pressure is also felt. Even there, where the common waiting for Jesus would be announced, insinuations and reproaches become loud, which destroy everything.
Whoever wants to follow Jesus learns a few things:
When someone asks me what organization I belong to, that I hold up these warning signs in front of Jehovah's Witnesses, I answer: "I do not belong to any organization. I suppose it might be Jesus who is behind it..." The rhyme then has to be made by the questioner himself. I cannot answer that I am on my way on behalf of the Lord. For then I would have spoken out of conviction and not out of faith. I do not have this conviction and I cannot claim that I myself can decide whether I serve the Lord Jesus or not. When I make this decision (even only for myself), faith becomes conviction and I suddenly find myself in Jehovah's Witness mode.
In contrast to the religious good people of every colour and shade, the Christian always has the chance of conversion with all the mistakes he makes. And that is understated! For it is not only the chance for conversion, but the guarantee of healing and forgiveness given by God Himself. The conversion of the Christian is only a microscopically small mini sequence in this process that Jesus initiated for us and in us. His work is immeasurable and his grace unspeakable. Who are we to be ungracious?