Jesus says “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself (die to self) and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it.” Luke 9:23-24
When we “deny self”, we are able to obey God. We need to deny self, so our worldliness ceases to interfere with our desire to obey God. Thus, we need to surrender our ALL to Him, so He is able to be all He wants to be in us and through us.
To “take up your cross” is something that takes place in our thought life. When thoughts that aren’t pleasing to God come to our mind, we need to “put them to death” on an inner “cross.”
Let’s say, for example, that a judgmental thought toward a friend pops up, or perhaps a grumbling thought of dissatisfaction for what you have to do today. As these thoughts come up in our mind, we can choose to deny them access to your heart! In practice, that means that as soon as we become aware of the thought, we disagree with it. We don’t dwell on it. The thought meets a firm “no” in our mind. We don’t permit the thought to pass through our mind and come into our heart… this is how we pick up our cross daily.
We are to “follow Jesus” because we don’t know where our path leads. If Jesus was hitchhiking would you pick Him up? If you did, He would very likely want to drive!
WOULD YOU LET HIM DRIVE?
Let’s beg Jesus to move us to complete dependence upon Him!