How do we know when to end something? Maybe it’s a relationship? Maybe it’s a job? Maybe it’s a church we’ve been attending for years? Making a change is always hard and ending things that are familiar is even harder.
As disciples of Jesus, we are asked to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and give our lives for Him? Is that a tough decision for you? How much do you have to give up? Jesus had predicted His death and Peter rebuked Him. Peter had shown a desire to follow his own will instead the will of God.
So, what changes do we need to make in order to follow Jesus?
1) We have to deny our selves
2) We have to take up our cross
3) We have to make the decision to follow Jesus
Who wants to deny their “self”? I know I don’t like to but have to. Denying my “self-desires” requires me to give up anything that would hinder me from doing the will of God. This does not mean that if we want something we can’t have it. It means that we have to place our wants and desires at the foot of the cross and talk them out with God. This also means that there is only room for one Master in our lives. It can’t be food, money, alcohol, pornography, etc. (Matt. 6:19-24)
Why do we have to take up our cross and what exactly does this mean? Do we have to carry all of our suffering for God? Hardships will come and go, but God is there with us. The cross that Jesus hung on was an instrument of death and total sacrifice for us. He bore the cross for us.
When we take up our cross, we then have to be 100% involved in our walk with Jesus. Our dedication has to involve our whole-being. Our whole body, mind and soul needs to be given to His service in anything He asks of us. This will eventually lead us to a willingness to deny ourselves. It does not happen over night and we don’t always get it right. (1Pet. 2:21)
I have not lost my life for Jesus. I have not learned how to live my life in TOTAL submission to Him. I have not figured it all out. But, what I have figured out is that Jesus suffered and died on the cross for my life; my failures; my burdens. He submitted his life on the cross for me, now it’s time for me to submit my life on this ground for Him.
Will you join me?