When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”
We are the generation whose preoccupation is to be delivered out of EVERYTHING!
Of course, our God is a deliverer and we celebrate His power and His great mercy to rescue us from those things which are too strong for us. But there is another side to our Christian walk that we cannot ignore; it is the command to take up our cross and follow Jesus.
You and I cannot be genuine Christians unless we are willing to take up our unique cross and keep walking. Sometimes it might be that people don’t like us, or that we are lonely or facing family challenges. Relationships, work environments and circumstances of all kinds that are demanding, painful and unrewarding. The death of a loved can bring a sense of indescribable loss, and we have to deal with it. It is a cross; we will not be miraculously delivered out of it, but the kind of deliverance we need is the ability to accept it, pick it up and keep walking.
Some of my biggest lessons in life have been the crosses I failed to pick up. They were opportunities to develop character instead of ducking out from under their weight. To learn how to rise in the midst of people who think the worst. To learn how to give when others are just taking.
God does not plan to deliver you out of the job; He gave you the job! He is expecting you to develop some fortitude so that you can handle the haters.
The truth is that you are equipped to handle it. You will be delivered right there in the midst of the troubled waters. Don’t you know that God stirred up the waters so that you can jump in, and experience your healing?
Some people’s marriages fell apart because they saw it as something they had to get out of rather than their cross. Sometimes our deliverance will be in staying, and digging deep until we have the character to overlook an offense, become strong, love in the face of challenges, and rise in the place of adversity.
You are anointed, and you have grace to handle it. If God thought you couldn’t do this, He would never have let you go through it. Don’t keep crying yourself to sleep over it; cry once, but then declare, “We are going to do this! He loves me too much to leave me stranded! I can WIN right here in the middle of this!”
Hold yourself to a standard and get hold of your mind and emotions. Deny your flesh the right to enslave you, and YOU ENSLAVE IT! In every situation either you or your flesh will have the upper hand; this is never going to be a relationship of equality, so make sure YOU are in charge. Don’t sidestep this opportunity. Take up your cross and follow Him.
Heavenly Father, Thank you for your grace that teaches me to say “no” to ungodliness, even in the place of pressure. Thank you that I am equipped today to handle my life and do it in style. I rule my world. I love because I am powerful. I am not rattled by what is weighing heavily on me today. I get hold of my mind, and I command it to be sound. I get hold of my emotions and I declare that I am at peace in the place of trust, that you will never mismanage my life.
Today, Lord, I choose to take up my cross and follow you. I hold myself to a standard to behave right and I believe you for the strength, for the character and for the power to overcome! Thank you, Lord!