I’ve stumbled over these words of Jesus more times than I’d like to admit…
If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.Luke 9:23
I didn’t struggle with the “follow me” part. The “give up your own way” part was harder. But the “take up your cross daily” part . . . that was hard. I could get tripped up by those words.
I didn’t want to carry my cross.
I held back a little because I was afraid that if I surrendered myself completely to God’s will, I might be asked to suffer in ways that would be too difficult to endure.
So, when problems came along, I ran to self-help books and so-called experts. Oh, I prayed and asked God to fix my problems but I lived as if it were up to me to do the fixing.
Until the Lord allowed circumstances that helped me understand that although I trusted God for my eternal future, I was denying myself the blessings He wanted me to have everyday.
Because the truth about cross-carrying is that when you and I follow Jesus and willingly give up our own way . . . He helps us carry any cross He allows.
And today, I regularly thank God for allowing the painful time that brought me to the TRUTH that I had doubted for so very long…
When you and I give up our own way, take up our cross daily, and follow Jesus, He will give us everything we need to live with the confidence that He is able and willing to give us whatever is needed every single day.
A Prayer to Know and Live
the Truth of Cross Carrying
Lord, forgive me. I have listened to the world’s lies that my days and my problems are up to me. I have foolishly lived out the consequences of unwise choices of worldly “experts” rather than seeking Your will and trusting Your ways. I have foolishly denied myself Your peace and strength, choosing to live in fear and doubt.
Thank you for allowing me to see my lack of wisdom and understanding. Thank you for showing me that Your love is greater than my foolishness and Your grace is greater than my sin.
I want to fully follow You, Lord. I want to lay down my stubborn will and selfish desires. I want to SEEK You so that I might KNOW, TRUST, and OBEY Your will with confidence that You will give me everything I need for whatever cross You allow. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray. Amen.
Jesus will help you carry your cross!
I love the way The Message expresses this truth:
Then [Jesus] told them what they could expect for themselves: “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?”Luke 9:23 (MSG)
If, like me, you have struggled or are struggling with the idea of carrying your cross, know that your Savior understands. He cried out in the Garden and pleaded with the Father to remove the suffering He was about to face. Although the Father didn’t remove the suffering, He did give Him everything He needed to endure it because of His tremendous love for you and me.
If God allows us to carry a cross He will give us what we need to carry it.
On today’s note write:
I will follow Jesus and trust Him to help me carry today’s cross.
May the Lord bless you today as you follow Him.
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