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Taking Up the Cross: “What Is Required of Me?”

Chinese – English 

A friend, Will, wrote this to us:

i dont know whats next concerning this walk, or what i should do, what is required of me? i know to stop my bad habits, look to the Lord (not to say ive faced any real temptation since ive been here yet though). i think i must expose myself as to who i really am. thats why i want to call. to confess and possibly get direction if i can. i dont know how to pick up my cross, or what my cross is yet. there are things no ones knows. Jesus knows.

For right now..because of shame, i really only feel comfortable sharing with you and Victor. even this is really hard.

We replied:

Hi William,

You have nothing to fear or be anxious about. If you want to talk to me and Victor, we can arrange a time. Let us know what works for you.

The cross comes in the Lord’s timing and way, but is there even from the very beginning, with our first step of faith in the Lord’s direction. To take that step, we have to turn our back on this world, right? God’s grace enables us from the start to deny ourselves.

“And He said to all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me’” (Luke 9:23 MKJV).

As you say, Jesus knows, and you can trust Him perfectly to be guiding you even when you don’t know what’s going on. Just make sure to do what you know is right with Him, and you’ll gain confidence that He’s taking care of the rest.

Paul

William, Victor here. The cross is at once the simplest and hardest thing to do. It’s a simple enough concept to cease from our own sensual understanding and look to the Unseen God – “Let go and let God,” as one put it. However, to do this is another matter.

Some think the cross is a matter of sacrifice or works. Many do those and remain in darkness and frustration. Some think it’s about getting religious. Tens of millions are religious and are no better off. Some think it’s praying and reading the Bible. Millions do that and don’t get anywhere. Some think it’s giving up family and friends or forsaking things precious to them. Many have done that and remain empty and miserable.

Some say it’s simply doing the right thing, but what is the right thing? Was it “right” for Abraham to sacrifice his own son? Was it “right” for Jacob to flee from his brother? Was it “right” for Solomon to kill his brother, Adonijah? What is the right thing?

The right thing is to obey God when He calls on you. If He hasn’t called on you or given you certain instructions, then you simply go on with life, trusting that when He chooses to reveal anything of His will to you, He will be faithful to do it. You’ll be tried, stretched, and taken beyond yourself, as you need to be.

Just waiting on Him is the cross – for years, if necessary (and it will be), as it was for Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and all the saints. We need to lose our lives. We need to let this world pass us by. We need to be willing to trust the Lord to make Himself and His will known to us when it’s “too late.” Death is “too late,” isn’t it? What more can be done after death? But He is the Resurrection.

At times and for others, it will be the opposite – a matter of getting up and doing that which one knows he should be doing and hasn’t been. Why hasn’t he been doing it? It may be fear of man (usually the case). It may be heeding ungodly influences, like a wife or parents or close friends. It may be caring for this world more than the next.

Ultimately, the cross can’t be explained, and nobody can understand what it is until he experiences it. That’s part of the cross – facing the uncertainty, the unknown without any source of direction, comfort, assurance, or knowledge of the way but the Lord. It’s being lost and discovering that when you arrive, you find yourself having stepped into the land you were supposed to have stepped into all along. You discover He’s been there all the time you believed you were lost, seemingly without Him.

We must have developed in us the patience and faith of all the saints. The cross does that. The cross is the gradual transfer of our soul from one world to another. It is His work and none of our own, except that we’re called to believe and obey Him, again and again. Even that is by His grace.

Read at The Path of Truth. The songs you enjoy are all about the cross, as are the poems. Fill yourself with truth and walk as you’re able. It’s all good, William, the most exciting and profitable journey one can make in this world.

The cross will cost you everything, including yourself, but it will also deliver everything to you, and the latter “everything” will be so much greater than the former.

After writing the above, I red your letter of today. I’m thankful for what the Lord’s doing in you, William, and you have so much to be thankful for. I was also a scumbag and wasn’t converted till I was 27. But He loved me and gave Himself for scumbags like you and me. Be thankful and know this: He is the Resurrection. He’ll replenish and restore all things, so that in the end, it’ll be as though you lost nothing, and even what you did lose or destroy, He will make to work for good. Remember:

“And we know that all things [good and evil, past and present] work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 KJV).

The letter Victor referred to:

i have a lot to learn. im 28 and have wasted a lot of my life in sin.. the worst of it, even to people in the world im disgusting. I know Jesus is way above us all, but sometimes i wonder if he would even want a sinner like me because of all the evil i delved into, even knowing better but still doing it.

You show how to get right with Jesus and how to get in His will. I dont fully realize what it means to pick up the cross, or lay down my life for Jesus, but i want to show Jesus that no mater what, fire, snow, prison, embarrassment, pain, suffering. I want to be his, for his will and his purpose from here until he calls my existence to cease.

why do i want to be His?? i dont want what this world has to offer. i dont want money. i dont want comfort. i want to live for a purpose that matters, His purpose.

Do i really know what im asking for?? No, maybe not, but so be it. I will face the consequences for my past actions, I will trust in the Lord during my suffering, if he calls me to suffer.

Lord give me grace to fulfill Your will to Your pleasure, the worst of all scumbags.

I say this because i shared with someone, Welcome to The Issues of Life link and they think youre an occult… i beg to differ for the life of me. I want to be Jesus’ now.

Also read…

The Cross – Only the Death Sentence Will Avail          

There is only one way to Heaven. Traditional thoughts focus on the death of the body, but the truth from God says that if we will live here and now, we must take up the cross – we must die. To be identified with Him, the Lord Jesus Christ, we must die to the world and ourselves, or how can we be with Him where He is, as He would have us to be?

“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints” (Psalms 116:15 KJV).

 

 

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