Walk the Path Laid out for You

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me”(Mark 8:34 NIV1).

“You are not being smart; this makes no sense!” “We’ll love you even if you’re not successful.” “How can you leave a profitable career for the ministry? You won’t make as much money. You might have to give up your house. Really, this is all just stupid.” We heard all of these comments and more as my husband prepared to leave a successful business in surrender to God’s call to ministry. We knew that no matter what men said, we would submit to God’s purpose for our lives. Because of Christ’s example, we had faith that full surrender to God’s purpose, taking up your cross, ultimately brings victory in His kingdom.

Do you ever wonder what people thought as Jesus surrendered to God’s purpose for His life? What did they whisper under their breath as He stood in humility while He was mocked, scorned, beaten, and forced to take up His own cross? Can’t you imagine that in the disciples’ fear they wanted Him to demonstrate His power? Or, at least, to justify Himself and to rationalize His decision to submit to emotional and physical torture and death? But, Christ knew that taking up His cross would ultimately bring victory over sin and death. He knew that He must take up His cross and submit to death so that there would be a resurrection.

Taking up your cross means much more than picking up your burdens. It means much more than enduring trials and tribulations. It means much more than living with hardships. It means that you are willing to give up everything, even your own life, for Christ’s sake. It means that you are willing to submit to rejection, ridicule, humiliation, scorn, or even martyrdom, in submission to His calling on your life.

What has He called you to do? You may not have been called to leave your family and go to a faraway missions field. You may not have been called to give up a secular vocation to follow Him in ministry. You may not have been called to plant a new church. Never forget that every individual’s calling is equally important in Christ’s kingdom. Take up your cross as Christ did. Walk the path He has laid out for you with endurance and perseverance, knowing that as you surrender your life to Him, you receive the gift of being led by Him in triumphal procession (2 Cor. 2:14).

Pray:

Dear Father, You are holy and just and perfect. Thank You for placing a call on my life. Thank You for giving me purpose. Help me to take up my cross. Give me strength to walk a path fully surrendered to You. Thank You for the promise that as we keep your commands and follow You in submission, Your joy is in us and our joy will be complete. Amen

1 Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

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