Monday, June 27, 2011

Take Up Your Cross & Follow Me


Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. "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 kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?

This is the message I am meditating on these past few days, and as I think it through, I have been so convicted of how my mind and heart have tried to compete, work within, and try to even find validity with the mentality, the culture, and what is considered "normal" by the ways of the world.  I am a Christian, and Colossians 3 tells me to keep my... "mind focused on things above", to keep my... "heart focused on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God".  Be dependent upon the ways of Christ, not the ways of man.  This automatically makes me vulnerable to others, as it will soon be evident by following this direction from Colossians that I will stand out like a sore thumb.  So, is it worth it.  I am going to suffer things like relationship and friendship with others who will not be able to relate with me if I walk according to the Spirit, as opposed to the flesh.  I will suffer a huge blow to my reputation among others.  But what I gain is this immeasurable and incomparably great relationship with Jesus Christ, who reveals, who strengthens, who refreshes, who protects, who promotes, who gives me favor, and grace to walk it out with Him.

But first I have to make a decision to get up on my cross, die to the ways of the world, and my habitual need and/or love of them in order to have made the choice for dependence on Him.  The power is in the CHOICE!  World, or Christ.  Ways of man, or His ways.  What I have learned from experience on this earth, or what I need to learn from Him.  How to teach myself in my own power and abilities, or radical dependence upon His presence, mercy, grace and favor.  Every day it comes down to this right here before anything else can come into play.  We pay a price for the things that we want.  We either sacrifice our soul to the things of this world, which invade us as we consume them, or we offer our lives to the One who dreamt us up in the first place in order for Him to redeem us, to reconcile us and to pour all of Himself into us, that we may become the fulfillment of all He has hoped for from the beginning.

Open my eyes Lord, so I can see the values of these two directions.  The world, or You. What can compare to You oh God?

I choose You today, and I will choose You tomorrow.  This is my daily declaration before the sun rises.