Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. – Matthew 10:38
Jesus taught his disciples many things as they traveled about the land of Israel. One thing he made abundantly clear to them was what constituted a true disciple of Jesus. He explained to them one day that anyone who would not pick up his own cross and not follow Jesus was not worthy to be a disciple of Jesus.
We’ve looked at the words of Jesus in regards to those who do things that they think or feel led of God to do but were never instructed by God to do. Of those people Jesus said that they would be told to depart from him because he never knew them. This isn’t to say that we will do something we felt led to do here or there, but rather it is for those who continually do so – to those who never listen to the voice of God and attempt to do good in the name of Jesus and thereby earn their way into salvation.
Here Jesus warns us that a true disciple is one who will take up his own cross and follow Jesus wherever he leads. The narrow gate is a hard one to find and even fewer enter therein, but the path that goes beyond that gate, the narrow path, is dangerous and filled with trials and tests. It is not one for the faint of heart. You will find what your are made of on the narrow path. Jesus will hold you up and guide your through the minefield of testing and trials, but you must remain faithful and trusting in the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, we must all ask ourselves today, Are we truly the disciples of Jesus we claim to be? Or have we deceived ourselves into believing some deception that lures us into a sense of a false safety of peace and prosperity that so many teach and proclaim in these last days? Is your life one of roses and peaches? If so, I would ask that you re-evaluate your entire existence. Sure we can enjoy the things of life. But if there is never any testing or trials, then something is awry! Just ask the Holy Spirit to show you the entirety of your spirit, even the darkest recesses to ensure that you have taken up your cross and truly are following Jesus and not your own fabrications.
Father, thank you for again pointing out to me the necessity to stop periodically and take inventory of my life and to see if I am of the household of faith. You tell me to test myself, and I am. I ask you to reveal within me anything that is not of you. Help me to rid my life of any evil or thing contrary to your ways. I have picked up my cross and am following you. This is not to say that I’ve not stopped and veered off course occasionally, but you always manage somehow to steer me back on to the tracks of the line you’ve laid out before me. Help me to stay firm and on track. I want nothing but your will to be done in and through me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.