By Donna Mitchell
Recently, we have been seriously examining the words of Jesus in Matthew 16:24,25
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow Me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”
How do we apply Jesus’ words to our daily lives? Maybe, we need practical tips – a daily reminder to take up our cross. Furthermore, Jesus reiterates a similar directive in Luke 9:23,24 – “must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me…”
To maintain the right focus, we should begin each day with the right posture. As we humble our hearts, receive His instructions and then, in faith, we can practice giving up our lives for Him.
Remember that He is our only power source. We can do nothing apart from Him and yet, we can do everything through Him who gives us strength. Let’s ask for help and strength and abide in His love. We need to keep in step with the Spirit: pray, wait, walk, and obey as He leads.
Some may feel like it is a long way in the same direction and taking you too long to get to your destination. Remember that James 1:4 says that perseverance is necessary for us to become mature believers. Don’t give up. Stay the course. Be obedient.
Shortly after I began my first full time ministry assignment, I sensed the Lord speak to my heart that I was not to leave until He told me. I was puzzled that He was speaking about this so shortly after I began, but the Lord knew that I would want to quit a thousand times during the next 11 years! If I had quit prematurely, I would not have learned essential lessons or partnered with Him in His plans for that season of my life and ministry.
Daily, we need to take up our cross and follow Him. As a college professor of mine said to us – “desire the Lord’s will above all else and He won’t let you miss it!” Follow wholeheartedly, with the right posture, relying on His power, and persevere until the Lord’s will is done!