By: Min. Timmeon Spencer
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
Taking up our cross is a requirement of being Jesus’s disciple and it must happen daily.
But why daily?
The first people’s (Adam and Eve) disobedience is known as the Fall. It caused them to now have a flesh, which means they had come into opposition towards God. Because of this, all people now have inherited this flesh and this influences our Thoughts, Words and Actions.
When we give our lives to Jesus, we commit ourselves to stop serving sin and doing our own will and to start serving God. So, we have decided to no longer satisfy the lust and desires that come from our flesh. But our new mind doesn’t mean our flesh is changed. We would quickly notice that our lusts are very much alive and we still get tempted. This is why we need to take up our cross daily.
The cross was a common means of punishment by the Romans who ruled during Jesus’s time. No one could hang on the cross and live. So, after suffering for a period of time, death finally came to Jesus. Of course, we know that he rose from the dead, but it was through His death that we will learn what it means to take up our cross.
So, what does taking up your cross actually mean?
To take up my cross is something that takes place in my Mind. When thoughts that aren’t pleasing to God come to me during the day, I deny them and put them to death on my inner cross (through the Holy Spirit). So, taking up my cross is basically to say NO to my own FLESH (self-will and lust) when I am tempted.
- Taking up your cross will hurt – It hurts to deny the sinful thoughts that we naturally tend to think and that are in opposition to God’s will, even if our whole desire is to do what is pleasing to God.
- Taking up your cross causes suffering for your flesh – your flesh suffers because it doesn’t get what it wants. The Bible calls this suffering in the flesh: “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin” (1 Peter 4:1).
- Taking up your cross takes time – It takes 100 years to grow a mighty oak tree. God is in no hurry. All he wants is our commitment. His Holy Spirit will give us strength to keep hanging on the cross, to keep saying No to the demands of our flesh until the lusts die.
As a human being our flesh is full of selfishness. That is why Jesus said to deny ourselves and take up our cross every day, all our life. As we use this cross every day, bit by bit we overcome sin and become more like Jesus. Life will get better and better when we are no longer bound to react the same way we used to, and it also will get better for those that are around us.
So, my encouragement to you today is to Take up your Cross!