“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.” Mark 8:34-35
What does this scripture mean to you?
In modern vernacular, we talk about “taking up the cross” in reference to salvation and holy living, but what about the word “his”, which in this sentence means “your”? This makes this command specific to you, your situation and life. “Cross carrying” is specific to the individual; no one can take up the cross for you – you must carry your own cross.
So, what does it mean to “take up your cross”? It doesn’t say, “Take up Jesus’ cross”, does it? It says, “Take up your cross and follow Me”.
Again, what is your cross?
No, it isn’t your spouse, or your kids or some other type of burden that you must bear in life. To the early world, the cross was a symbol of death by the most humiliating circumstances. It meant rejection by the world. It meant a life lived in contrast to that which was considered “normal” by others. The cross is the only pathway to supernatural living. Resurrection power comes through death, therefore the cross is essential in the life of one who desires to see the supernatural operate in them and through them. This is exactly what Jesus is saying when He states that avoidance of your cross equals the loss of supernatural destiny and the embracing of your cross is essential to the release of supernatural living.
Okay, now that we have an idea what this means; I’ll ask again – what is your cross?
Each one of us has a specific destiny – a pathway laid out before us by God. This pathway is taken step by step. Sometimes, you get to see what is at the end of the pathway. Maybe the Holy Spirit has shown you where He is taking you. But, the interesting thing is that most of the time, we don’t have any other information as to how to specifically get to that destination. God will show you the first step to take and after that, He will show you the next and so on and so forth. Many people try to “skip steps” and get to the destination fast. This is not what you want to do! Each step is a place of character development essential to the finished product. Skipping steps equals missing character development. So, you must be patient; working on each step and completing them as God intended. Then, and only then, are you released to go to the next step.
According to 2 Peter 1:6, patience is key to godly character, so don’t skip steps! I once heard a very wise man say this:
When your talent “outruns” your godly character, you’ll be exposed for what your are: a fraud!
So, take it one step at a time!
But, I also feel impressed to tell you today, that you need to get started! Someone out there has not taken the first step yet! Often, the first step can be a hard one because it calls for some type of dramatic life change. At other times, it is a hard step because it will require us being “visible” as a true follower of Christ. Whatever is going on, your journey will never begin without the first step!
Whatever God is showing you to do, “Nike up!”
If you “play it safe”, you’ll lose the life that you where born to live! No cross, no resurrection! No obedience, no supernatural!
So, today is the day that everything can change for you! Make a decision to obey God and take the first step on your journey. Take up your cross and follow Jesus! The rewards are beyond your imagination!