Our Scripture reading today is Matthew 16:24-26.
Verse 24, "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."
The first step mentioned to following Jesus Christ can be one of great struggle.  Our self can be very powerful and overwhelming.  It is natural allow self to have whatever it wants.  It is natural to fulfill all our fleshly appetites and desires.  If we are going to follow Jesus Christ and bring God the glory He alone deserves, self will need to be denied.  
When we yield to the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.  When we apply the truths of God's Word to our lives, we will be strengthened and able to say no to the flesh.  It is my opinion that this must be done every day.  It is a losing battle to try and deny myself today with the spiritual nourishment I received yesterday.  I need fresh bread every day.  Each and every morning, I need to seek His will to be accomplished in my life.  It is impossible to follow self and the Saviour at the same time.  Deny yourself today !