“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” Matthew 16:24-25
Have you ever been invited on a journey, but to arrive at your destination meant traveling an unfamiliar route? As Christ followers, we choose to journey with Jesus by faith – embracing an unfamiliar faith pilgrimage that requires us to count the cost, give up comfort, and daily choose to surrender to the Father’s will.
In Matthew 16:24-25, Jesus unapologetically defines self-sacrifice as the ongoing cost of following Him. Why is this so difficult when we know surrendering to His will helps us discover His life? Despite this confrontational and challenging choice, God never pressures us to follow Him – He always allows us to choose, and with choice comes consequence and cost. He implores us to deny self and humbly choose brokenness and surrender in order to experience life as He intended – a life fully inspired, actively influencing others to follow Christ as well.
The next time you encounter a crossroad in your faith journey, remember that the Lord uses them to define and refine your choices, character, and faith. In the midst, listen to God whispering, “Do you want to live life as I intended?” If your answer is yes, then you, like me, are beginning to understand the non-negotiable cost of following Jesus. You are grasping the necessity of dying to self to experience true life as you progress in your pilgrimage. God can transform the world with your willing heart – a heart that daily and completely surrenders to His perfect will.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for inviting me to follow You. Help me to surrender my heart completely to You. Give me the wisdom and courage to prioritize Your Will for my life so that I may experience life to the fullest – life as You intended. Amen.
Boldly ask God, “How do I need to die today so I can live more fully in You? Then prayerfully evaluate your priorities and commit to taking the steps God is leading you to take. As you experience the new joy of living more fully for Christ, share with others what God is doing in your life. They also need to be challenged to die daily to live abundantly.
What would you say to Jesus if He asked you, “Are you all in?”