Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
We don't talk a lot about cross carrying. That's more the fine print of being a follower of Christ—the part we don't generally go around advertising to those we're hoping to draw into Christian faith. But as I understand Jesus' words in Luke 14:27, you and I cannot truly follow Him unless we are carrying a cross. The cross is not just a popular piece of jewelry but also a unique Christian symbol that represents suffering and sacrifice. So it is with the cross He has asked you to carry. Your cross will undoubtedly extract pain and a price.
Cross carrying is not a one-time decision. No, we must choose daily to pick up our cross, again, and follow Him. We are to continue carrying it over the long haul. Do you know what your cross is? Think with me for a moment. When the Savior asks you, "Pick up your cross and follow Me," what exactly is it that He is asking you to carry?
Is your cross:
•A chronic health issue—physical or emotional?
•Giving up fame, prestige and popularity?
•Giving up material wealth, financial security and living a lifestyle that you've become accustomed to?
•The loss of a dream—infertility, a past divorce, infidelity or the betrayal of a friend? The bottom line? Cross carrying represents death. Death to the easy way— the world's way. Death to desires. Death to self. Cross carrying demands focus on Christ (see Hebrews 12:1-3), coming after Christ with faith (see Hebrews 11:6), and perseverance. Keep carrying your cross—through the balance of the work week, through the long months of a family crisis, through the hard-fought seasons of moral struggle.
Keep carrying your cross.
What does carrying your cross mean to you right now? What cross has God called you to carry right now as you follow Him?
Pray that you won't rebel against what God is asking of you but that you'll submit willingly to His claim on your life and pick up your cross and follow Christ.