Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. - Luke 9:23
It is a declaration of relinquish, giving up, denying one position and taking up another.
I heard an illustration a long time ago about the posture of raising your hands to the sky. It meant ...
Here I am.
I give up.
I am unarmed.
I don’t want to fight anymore.
I have nothing.
The key to surrender is always a giving up and to whom you are surrendering. Some surrenders put you in a worse place—captive; others can provide a substantial upgrade, can actually set you free.
Denying yourself can feel like you are losing; whereat, in God’s economy, in the Kingdom, denying yourself actually means you’re winning.
We have embraced the term, Counting the Cost. It is extremely relative as much of the cost is “to be determined”. How many of us really knew or understood the sacrifice of marriage or commitment to parenting that one day when we became married or the day we were handed our child in the hospital and told it's time to go home taking our little one with us? I sure didn’t. And that is where the DAILY part comes in.
Following Jesus has an evolution to it. It has an invitation to start again each day and try again to learn how to be like Jesus. It also has a losing, a diminishing, ultimately a dying to an old way. Taking up your cross means to carry with you the continual putting to death the old man, and at the same time, an amazing mystery takes place … the more you lose your life (old life) the more you will find it (new/true life). Taking up the cross will also lead to taking up the resurrected life.
Count the Cost…
And Repeat, Daily.
Surrender is not a recipe or a system … it’s an invitation to intimacy and a bold one from the glorious King who knows if you will try, He will meet you every step of the way in our surrender and promised then to make us like Him.
And He said to all, If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself [disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also]. - Luke 9:23 Amplified Version
The Daily Prayer - Paragraph 3
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me and choosing me before you made the world. You are my true Father – my Creator, my Redeemer, my Sustainer and the true end of all things, including my life. I love you, I trust you, I worship you. Thank you for proving your love for me by sending your only Son, Jesus, to be my substitute and representative. I open up my life anew to all of his Life and all his work, which you ordained for me. Thank you for including me in Christ, for forgiving me my sins, for granting me his righteousness, for making me complete in him. Thank you for making me alive with Christ, raising me with him, seating me with him at your right hand, granting me his authority and anointing me with your Holy Spirit. I receive it all with thanks and give it total claim to my life.
An excerpt from The Daily Prayer Memory Verse Cards