And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23).
Taking up our cross daily. Is that something we hear much about as Christians? Maybe some of us do. It’s not an idea I remember hearing much about growing up, but my experience is limited.
The idea of “taking up the cross” is heavy on my mind today. That could in part have something to do with the bible study I’ve been listening to. The Lord’s timing in all things. Incredible!
You might have noticed that I’ve been slow getting things published the past few weeks. There a few reasons for that.
For one, I feel like I’m at a kind of cross-roads. It seems that KindlingTruth is going in a new direction, and I’m thinking about how to navigate this. All things have led up to this point, but putting it all together clearly in my mind is a bit overwhelming.
So, do I focus on this new project solely? Should I complete the other article series’ I have started, thereby taking time away from the other work I need to be doing? There is only so much time in a day, and I have many other obligations outside of KindlingTruth.
In a way, I feel like I’m stuck in this in-between phase, not really sure what to do next. So I wait it out. On the other hand, I stare at this massive thing ahead, and it looks a lot like a cross to me. I’m not so sure I want to take it up.
Anyone who reads KindlingTruth knows I can be outspoken when it comes to the things of the Christian faith. Yet, for some reason, this particular thing I’m working on, “The Trouble with Kings” series (or maybe e-book), has me frozen in place. It seems like such a daunting task, and one that might not be well-received at that.
I kind of just want to go back to my life. Focus on growing my family and growing my business. I kind of want to take up a mindless hobby that is relaxing and can ease my busy self. I kind of want to abandon KindlingTruth all together. But, I know that’s not the thing to do.
The thing to do is to take up the cross. Do what needs to be done in faithfulness, thanksgiving, and peace that can only come from trusting the Lord and seeking a righteous lifestyle.
As Christians, we all have a cross to take up — and we take it up daily. If we get too complacent, the things of the world will become our cross. We will die in sin instead of dying to sin, if you get what I’m saying. Every day, we should push forward while seeking the Lord to guide us and strengthen us along the way.
What cross are you taking up? Maybe it’s enduring a difficult job with thankfulness and a mindset that does all things for the glory of the Lord. Maybe it’s enduring difficult relationships with patience. Maybe it’s standing up for the namesake of Jesus in a world that would deny him.
If we Christians are alive at the time of great trouble and Christian persecution, how can we expect to take up our cross and follow the Lord when we don’t do that now?
How do we begin? We seek Jesus and consult with Him. We seek to walk after the Spirit, learning to deny sinful desires and boldly stand for the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness. Day by day, we strive to endure the difficulties of this life while retaining the teachings of Christ, not giving over to covetousness, envy, strife, backbiting, lusts of the flesh, and the like. When we mess up, we rest in the mercy of Jesus, but never taking the cross he bore for granted.