I shared previously about denying my self- When I started to question my faith, I could no longer hear nor feel God, to the extent that spiritual journal for the last quarter of 2015 to the whole year of 2016 was unusually bare. I had lost the intimacy with God totally when I was in rebellion in my pit. Thereupon, I arrived at the next hurdle found in the same key verse:
“If any man will come after me, let him (a) deny himself, and (b) take up his CROSS DAILY, and (c) FOLLOW me.” – Luke 9:23 KJV.
The centrality of true discipleship is: 1. Take up the Cross daily. And I want to add in another parallel, 2. Crossing daily.
- The way of the Cross:
(i) A total dedication as His Disciples – For Jesus relinquished His rights as God and lived His Life solely in fulfilling His Father’s Will
(ii) Giving up our lives for the Kingdom – For Jesus had died on the Cross for the redemption of mankind. It calls for a full surrender of our lives.
(iii) It requires sacrifices that will cost us – Consider that God paid a very exorbitant price when He gave His Only Son to die on the Cross to pay the penalty for our sins that Jesus doesn’t deserve to bear.
(iv) An instrument of death – It is a reminder that we need to die to ourselves, daily
Most of us stop at taking up the Cross, but yet to CROSS further because of limitations, fears, inadequacies, inconveniences, sacrifices to make etc. Simply, we haven’t arrive at denying ourselves. The first hurdle in the verse points to denying ourselves, upon which we can then take up the Cross. Then Jesus said, “AND follow Me.” “and” is found twice in the same verse, which emphasises a step-by-step call for action. It is a daily process, and not a one-time destination. There is no way we can move forward without first denying ourselves. (And by the way, denying ourselves apply for good times too, and not just the bad times.)
- The last hurdle will then be “Follow” Jesus. Following Jesus require crossing daily- Do as He did.
I think, to summarise all the above is found in this verse-
He (God / Holy Spirit) must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. – John 3:30
Just want to end my sharing with 2 more hard truths that never fail to rein me in:
Many of us can address God as God, but how about calling Him Lord? Having His Lordship, means He rules and reigns in every areas of our lives: work, finances, relationships, emotions, our heart and even our plans. If Jesus is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all.
Life will always be a series of TEST but through them we can come out stronger and glorify Him in our TESTIMONY;
Our lives may be a MESS but they can be turnaround for His beautiful MESSAGE;
When we face TRIALS in life, always recall and remember, how God can bring us into TRIUMPHS.