One of the great things we can do for ourselves is to come after Jesus. Follow him and obeying his commandments. Jesus wants us to come after him; however, living in the flesh and doing God’s will may be conflicting. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. John 3:6.
Apostle Paul opened to us about the conflicting desires of the flesh and the mind that knows what is right. Romans 7:15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do. To live right, God is calling us to come up higher. Live above the desires of the flesh. Live a life above sin and stand in the will of God.
How do we do that when we are in this flesh? Jesus gave some insights into this in Mark 8:34.” And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
Jesus said whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself….
What does He mean by “deny himself”? When you try to open a door with a password and do not have the right password, access would be denied. Jesus is saying that when sin knocks on our door with its desires and cravings, we should not grant access. Access denied!
Unfortunately, it is self. It is a part of us that we have to deny access. “Let him deny himself.” Is it fun to do that? No! Nevertheless, we can do this by keeping our eyes on the ultimate price. We must look at the big picture of living as sons and daughters of the father rather than yielding to the filthy desires of our flesh.
Take up your cross
Cross is not a spectacular structure. It is an apparatus for the execution of criminals. Jesus is saying to us there is something in you that deserves death on the cross. Take up your cross, and I will show you what it is in your life and how to crucify it. Take up your cross and be ready for the next instruction I will give to you.
Many times, we want to be Christian and still do things our way. Jesus says, no, it will not work that way. If you want to come after me, you will have to follow me. I will lead the way, and you will follow. Doing it your way will never result in coming after me.
To follow Jesus today, we have to give up our will and be like Him in Gethsemane’s garden, where He said to God, not my will, but you will be done.
So we say today, Lord, not our will, but you will be done.