“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).
When reading the Bible, it is sometimes easy to skim right over a key phrase. It’s so familiar, we just hurry on past without stopping to consider the full meaning and how it might apply to our lives. When I read the above scripture, I paused and asked myself, “So how do I take up my cross daily? What does that really mean?”
I’ve talked about the cross, read about the cross, and sung about the cross. I understand what the cross did for me and the incredible cost Jesus paid to give me life through His death. But I’m not sure I’ve really taken time to contemplate the “daily cross” and how it impacts my life.
The cross was not pretty. There was nothing desirable about it. It was cruel, shameful, and completely abhorrent. It meant one thing: death.
As it relates to my life and yours, I think the apostle Paul sums it up for us in I Corinthians 15:31 when he said, “I die daily.” Galatians 2:20 gives further insight.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
To die daily means each day we must consciously relinquish control of our lives to the Lord. We die to our desires, our ambitions, our choices, our “rights.” Our old self is dead; it is Christ now living in us. His desires become our desires. His will becomes our will. We lose our identity and take on His. When we die daily, we live a life of total surrender. Is it easy? No. The cross is never easy. Dying to self takes great determination. Is it worth it? Absolutely.
When we give ourselves completely to God and His will, our lives are transformed. We are never the same. And that’s a very good thing!
Prayer: Lord, dying to self is not easy. Giving up what I think of as “my rights” and allowing You to take control is difficult, yet it is what I need to do. Help me to live each day in total surrender to You. When I do, my life will be blessed and I will be in perfect fellowship with You.