The Fire: Have you taken up your cross yet?
This is the core of our walk with Jesus. What is often missed is the simple fact that it is your cross. You must take it up voluntarily. It is targeted to your specific personality and life.
It is designed to kill you
In my reading this morning from Golden Grain, Follette says, “Jesus never places a cross on anybody. …No, we voluntarily take it.” If we choose to not take it up, we won’t go to Hell. But we will miss God’s best tool to bring us into God. Our cross will be the creation of our liberation.
Your cross is personal. You will not be able to adequately explain it. Though it will cause you great pain as you allow the Lord to carve off the scraps to reveal the desired within, what does that for you seems like foolishness to others. That agony will result in joy. Do not think it strange. It was necessary for Jesus. It is hoped for you.
“In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death. He was heard because of His godly fear. Though He was a Son, He learned obedience through the things that He suffered, and being made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey Him,” Hebrews 5:7-9 MEV
If Jesus had to learn obedience, how can we possibly believe it isn’t required of us? Most of us resist. We bind and cast out demons. We plead with the Lord to deliver us. We weep. We moan. Finally, something breaks inside us, and we submit.
Then we discover that we have been set free
The fiery trial has burnt off the dross.
“And you have forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons: ‘My son, do not despise the discipline from the Lord, nor grow weary when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and scourges every son whom He receives.’” Hebrews 12:5-6 MEV
Yes, it applies to daughters as well. It does seem like a peculiar male trial—a coming of age event [though it often happens in our confused culture much later than it did in the past]. However, women also experience something very similar. Maybe you, as a woman, have a better term for the female process? Please share it with us.
In addition, it can happen more than once. I’m just coming out of my third or fourth major trial. Yes, it’s embarrassing that it took so long to learn what I need to know. Yet, I couldn’t have heard it earlier. The Lord knows what He is doing.
Peter talks about the result
“Therefore, since Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh serving human desires, but the will of God.” 1 Peter 4:1-2 MEV
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place…to test you, as though some strange thing happened to you.” 1 Peter 4:12 MEV
“But after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called us to His eternal glory through Christ Jesus, will restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10 MEV
Your cross is specifically designed to make you into what you were designed to be, so you can fit into your proper place in the Body.