The cross was meant to look like the greatest defeat. It was used to crucify Jesus; a way for the Romans to say, “you lose.” His suffering and trials were an attempt by the enemy to push people away from God and His will to redeem us through His Son. The cross, however, became the greatest victory: the triumph of our Lord, and the antidote to the sting of death.
“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” (Luke 9: 23-24 NLT).
Society will tell you that you need to “go find yourself” or “be you.” God is calling you to lose yourself and instead to put your trust in Him. We need less of us and more of Him. God calls to all of us, and in order to heed that call, we must go. It is an active process where walking with and experiencing God requires us to get out of the way and let God lead. We need to walk away from things in this world that are dead if we are to expect life. Major adjustments need to be made in our thinking, relationships, commitments, circumstances, actions and beliefs if we are to let go of the things that are not God. We can’t just put them away in a closet or on the shelf, because we will be tempted to return to them for comfort. Rather, we need to permanently destroy them, let them burn, and continue forward, so we are unable to go back.
Jesus will place a calling on you to follow Him, and then He will walk away. He wants you to make that decision to follow. It must be a willing surrender and obedience to His ways. He will not force you. He is looking for you to give up “self” and the ways of this fallen world, replacing them with Him, as a full time Christian. He wants what you do, not only what you say you believe, for the action will reveal what you really believe about God. “Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works” (James 2:26 NLT). God calls you to join Him in His work; He will empower you to get the task completed. He wants you to know that it was done through His strength, and not your own. That is why it will look impossible if God is not in it. Let how you live your daily life be a testimony of what you believe about God.
Christianity in a nutshell:
Deny yourself and your old life
Take up your cross and own your purpose
Follow Jesus to live out the new normal
Lose To Win:
Lose Selfishness; Win Purpose
Lose Pride; Win Humility
Lose Entitlement: Win Gratitude
Lose Comfort: Win Experience
Lose Friends; Win Family
Lose Religion; Win Relationship