In the last few months God has been revealing Himself to me by having me understand what it means to carry your cross. Through most of my life I thought this was just letting God work in your life on a regular basis. Now this fine, but as I’m learning… this is not near enough. Perhaps I was a shallow follower or someone who wasn’t living up to the commitment I had made.
Honestly, I believe that I have come to a place in my walk with Christ that I am identifying with Him in another way. This is continuously happening, as I am learning to live as a Christian. I guess what I’m saying is that God never stops molding you into what He wants you to be, if you are willing to let Him.
Here is what I have discovered so far:
Jesus said you must daily deny yourself and take up your cross daily. Luke 9:22-27
He meant you had to stop sinning. This is the part I understood. This is the part that means we have to obey God’s word. We are now living for Him… he is Lord (or so I thought). This is the part where we get our lives in order. It’s the next part that I just skimmed over and sometimes chose to ignore. It clearly says, “Take up your cross.” Sometimes we think I’m going to follow God and do as He asks but there’s more to it than that. You could say that the teachers of the law did this much. What?…. Are you kidding? … No seriously.
The part I seemed to always miss was the pick up your cross. What did this really mean in Jesus’ day? If you picked up the cross beam of a cross and carried it, you were about to die. You were about to die a humiliating, brutal death; one that would not be pleasant at all.
I don’t think we are to physically die every day of course, but I do think it’s a death to hopes, dreams and ambitions… things that we may want so much that we will orchestrate our lives in a way to make things happen so that we achieve our wants. Or plainly put, our will. We cannot let God have His way in our everyday lives unless we kill our will. This is hard. I believe we can see this happening in the life of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.
So, how do we do this? I don’t have a simple answer, just a suggestion. Look at Jesus in the Garden… He was alone, no one around Him, only God. Jesus just gave up His desire to find another way to save His people. We need to give up our strategies that we have been taught by this world and look to be totally reliant on God for providing for us. Let Him provide for your hopes, dreams, and ambitions. It may just be better than you ever thought.
I’m not saying, go quit your job, but I am saying this. Let Him guide you in your everyday dealings. Look to the knowledge and wisdom that you have received from being in the Word of God. Constantly be in communication with Him all day long. Stop and thank Him for the blessings you have. Take time to help someone in need. Treat someone in a staff meeting or business affair the way that Jesus would have treated him. This is not an overnight thing, but once we start living this way, it will be hard to go back to our old ways of living for ourselves.