24. Then Jesus said to His disciples, if anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself — that is, disregard, lose sight of and forget himself and his own interests — and take up his cross and follow Me (cleave steadily to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and if need be, in dying, also).
25. For whoever is bent on saving his (temporal) life (his comfort and security here), shall lose his life (his comfort and security here) for My sake, shall find (life everlasting).
He is showing us the way to life everlasting. When we are crucified with Christ, our feet and hands are nailed to the cross with Jesus. We cannot go our own way or do our own thing anymore. He will lead us to a better way. If we go, we will lose our selfishness and self-will. There are many things in our life that are not sinful. They just take up time and space in our heart.
I used to love sewing. I made everything. It was a good thing I always thought. I knew the Lord was saying to give it to Him. I saved so much money and could make things the way I wanted them. Then I started seeing the pride that I had. I was supplying our needs, instead of allowing the Lord supply them.
He doesn’t always show you why, until you obey. I needed to learn humility and how to rely on Him more. There was nothing sinful about sewing. It was about who He wanted me to become. We must know His plan for us is so much better than our own plans. His interests are so much higher than our own.
We must put our comfort and security in His hands. Now days you hear of so many who are preparing for the end of the world by building a retreat underground or in a secluded spot. They are filling it up with dried foods that will last and every type of item that they might need. What they are neglecting most of the time is their relationship with the Lord. He is the only one who can see us through any calamity that may arise.
Luke 17:32 Remember Lots wife!
If we try to preserve ourselves, we will lose everything. By this type of behavior, we are telling the Lord that we know more than Him and can take better care of ourselves. Is it really a matter of self-preservation or just desiring the old life we had before Jesus?
In either case, Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt. She was told not to look back. I believe she had a yearning in her heart for her life in Sodom and Gomorrah. That is never the life the Lord wants for anyone. There is a “Mount of Sodom” which is about 6 miles long, 3 miles wide and 1000 feet high by the Dead Sea, which is said to be solid salt. (Amp. footnote)
What we will eventually learn is that the Lord never delights in taking away. It is His nature to give and to bless. Once He knows you are serious in your walk with Him and have died to the old ways, He is ever ready to give back more than we ever gave up. We always will come out spiritually and physically prosperous.