Carry your CROSS?

So, in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus gives us this crystal clear definition of what it looks like to be His follower.  But it’s a crazy sounding standard to say the least…check it out:



Sounds crazy doesn’t it?  I mean, why would anybody ever want to do that?  If following Jesus means I have to put myself on a proverbial instrument of death…DAILY…why would following Jesus ever be appealing to anyone?

Now, before you answer, think about what the verse is asking…Jesus wants us to get up everyday and crucify what WE want for the sake of what GOD wantswhy would I EVER want to follow someone who asks me to give up MY hopes, MY dreams, MY desires.
  
The simple answer is, for most of us, we wouldn’t…and here’s why:  If we we’re all honest…there’s one thing we as humans LOVE…and that’s freedom.  We LOVE the ability to wake up every day and do what WE want.

-When you’re a kid, you can’t wait to grow up, and move out. Why?  So you can do what you want.

When you finally do move out, one of the biggest fears we have about getting married, is giving up our freedom to do what we want.

-Once we finally do get married, we love guys poker night, or girls night out…WHY?  So we can do what we WANT.

From the time we’re little, we love doing our own thing and getting our own way…and when we don’t, we hate it…don’t we?

So why in the world would ANYBODY ever want to be a follower of Christ…who asks those who pursue living in His footsteps, to GIVE UP what they want, to crucify what they want on a daily basis, for the sake of doing what HE wants.  

I mean, it sounds FOOLISH doesn’t it.  Well, God knew that it would.  That’s why when the Apostle Paul wrote his first letter to the Church in Corinth, he said this:

1 Corinthians 1:18(NLTse) – 18 The message of the cross is FOOLISH to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.

Wait, what?  It the POWER of God…in our lives?  I thought following Jesus meant giving up power?  Well, it does…but it doesn’t mean losing it…it just means changing the source.  Let me explain.

The problem for many of us, is that we don’t understand what the POWER of the cross does in our lives.  We don’t understand what’s being gained when we Take. Up. Our. Cross.

See before Christ DIED for you on a CROSS, and gave you the ability to take up your cross daily, the only thing you had the capacity to take up daily…was control.  And for most of us, we like it that way…we like having control.

The problem is, when you try to control everything that happens in your life, you also assume the BURDEN of making sure everything goes right.  When you’re the one in charge, it ALL falls on your shoulders.  Don’t get me wrong, authority is fun…for a while…but when you carry the weight of responsibility that comes with that authority long enough…it begins weighs heavy on you.  It always does.

The GOSPEL, the good news of Jesus says this: “follow me…and instead of waking up every day and taking up your burdens…I want you to take up your…cross.”  That means crucifying your desire to be in control, crucifying your desire to do things your own way and letting The God of the universe take control in your life every single day.

And in taking control, He also takes the burden from you of doing life on your own, and helps that burden.  You were never meant to live life alone, you were meant to live in relationship with God allowing HIM to bear your burdens, but he can’t do that as long as you want to assume and maintain CONTROL.

Now, is that difficult?  Sure it is.  Is it hard?  Sure it is.  Does it hurt?  Sure it does…ITS A CROSS!  Just as it did with Jesus…the CROSS hurts for a season, but ultimately, it always results in FREEDOM, and peace.

That’s why Jesus says my yolk is easy and my burden is light.  Wait a minute easy?  Light?  I thought you said following Jesus was about self sacrifice, and dying to yourself, and taking up your cross.  IT IS!  But that’s just it, the freedom found in the cross makes your life easier to bear than living in the false freedom of YOU being in control.

You see what God does with the cross in your life?  It’s the same thing He did with the cross Jesus died on.  He takes something that kills…and turns it into something that saves.  When you take up YOUR cross, while it does mean dying to what you want, you’re exchanging it for what God wants, which is a far more FREEING way to live.

So, yes, taking up your cross does sound foolish.  But it’s the only conduit to find true freedom…which is what we’re ALL looking for anyways.

(And remember this…God’s not asking you to do anything He wasn’t willing to do.  He calls His followers to take up their cross…but He took up His first.  He went first.  And now He’s asking you and me to follow Him and in so doing, experience daily…and eternal freedom…)

Galatians 2:20 (NLTse) – 20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer
I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

2 thoughts on “Carry your CROSS?

  1. Robbie I couldn't of read this at a more proper time. I haven't checked others blog post in months and decided to catch up reading some others blog post tonight and you just so happen to post this just 45 min ago. With Natalie's due date tomorrow I have been in complete stitches and so anxious about her birth and the last few days having a bit of anxiety over it; about wanting the birth experience I truly want and desire because I felt robbed of the one I had with John by having a c section. I know from a guys stand point of view you may not understand that fully, but from your blog post you hit the nail on the head about giving up my wants and desires for what God truly wants and dying to myself and giving Him complete and total control into all areas is what I needed to hear…even if that means something as dying to myself about the birth experience I want. This is such a divine appointment that came at such the right time. Thanking God for this tonight.

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  2. lol. Had to come back and re-read your blog post today and then I also shared it with several friends and family members. This is one of most basic foundations/doctrines of Christianity and is probably one of the most neglected (taking up our Cross daily…and dying to self) for a seasoned Christian. Such a great and incredible reminder. Thanks again!

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