And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. - Luke 14:27

Most of us do not experience Christ alive in us is because we fail to be His true disciples. Jesus has clear instructed us that to be that to be His disciples we need to take up our cross and follow Him. But many of us face problems when doing so, we face hardship and the Cross becomes very heavy. This is not what Jesus planned for us, but these things happen only because we fail to understand and follow instructions.

The mistakes we make:-

Misidentifying the Cross: Jesus clearly said YOUR Cross not HIS Cross - to bring salvation to all mankind including ourselves. Overenthusiastic people try to carry Jesus' Cross not their own. and get crushed under it. Our Cross is a part of Jesus' Cross not the whole. Leave some for others; they too are part of the plan of God!

Crucifying ourselves on the Cross: This will come as a surprise to you as it came to me. Jesus suffered for us and it was not His idea to make you suffer like Him. People (including myself before) torture themselves trying to nail their flesh (physically - direct or indirect) on the Cross. Paul clearly puts it in his letter to Galatians chapter 6 -

Galatians 6: 14,15 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

What needs to be crucified is our world not us. The fight is not with Satan, for it is written in the Bible that he is already defeated, even he knows that. Do not waste time fighting him. We fight his works, by bringing it down. The fight is against our sinful nature which Satan induced into Adam and is passed to all generations.

Matthew 16: 24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

When you deprive supply to the army, however big it may be or however strong it may be, soon or latter it will collapse. Crucify our world; the world we lived in before we came to know Christ. When we do this the world will try to crucify us, this will pain only when we love the world. If we have nothing to do with this world and we are just tolerating it for we have to just past it, then there will be no pain.

Ask the Lord every day, 'Lord, today what part of my world, should I crucify on my Cross'.

The Cross is Light: Jesus gave us clear instructions how to make our Crosses light. If we learn from it then we would not have problems.

Matthew 11: 29-30 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Our Cross being apart of Jesus' burden is light, if we do two things which we are asked to do.

Firstly - being obedient by learning from Jesus.
Secondly - changing our character by being meek and lowly in heart.

The first thing we should learn from Jesus is listening to the Holy Spirit. Jesus always followed instructions as the Lord guided Him.

Romans 5: 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

We too should take help from the Helper, do not try to carry the Cross all by yourself. God did not expect us to be strong as bodybuilders to carry our Crosses. Ask the Lord who is our Helper to help us. The ratio may even land up with 90% the Lord carrying and balance 10% us.

Coming to character the two properties you need to have:-

Humility - This does not mean being a loser or having no self respect; being run over by others. Being humble means encouraging others, getting ourselves behind them to push then ahead. When we do this the Lord will take us further than where we started.

1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time

Not having pride - Pride is not the opposite of being humble. We can be a selfish person but not a proud person. Pride means not being realistic about ourselves, thinking ourselves to be ahead or more than what we are. It can be considered as not being humble and being foolish, selfish, arrogant and lost; all together.

Let us not be afraid to take our Crosses in Christ and show ourselves as true disciples, thus being part heirs to Christ in His Resurrection and Glory.

[ Prayer Starter ]

Father God, I thank You for the Cross of Jesus Christ. In it, is my victory over my sinful nature. Only when my sinful nature dies, can I received Christ's nature which is your nature in me. Thus I can be partaker with Him in His glory. Help me Holy Spirit in this battle. I ask this payer in Jesus' Name, Amen.

The Word of God was given free to us, therefore we should also share it freely with others.
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