Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
Over the past week I have been reading the book Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. It’s an awesome book that has convicted me on more than one occasion. Anyone who says they are a Christian should definitely check this book out.
The last couple of chapters I’ve read have really focused on the verse above from Luke. If you’ve spent your life in church, then you have heard that verse countless times, but have you ever stopped to take it in? Kyle Idleman takes you through crucifixion in his book and what exactly it would have entailed. It was the most gruesome and embarrassing death of the Roman government at that time, and Jesus wants us to take up our cross.
When is the last time you had to sacrifice something for your relationship with the Lord? When is the last time it cost you something? If we’re really honest, we’ll answer with not very often. If you’re like me, you may have lost a few friends along the way because your lifestyle has changed, but you don’t really get out of your comfort zone. I know I don’t very often.
But God is calling us to a different life. He is calling us to die to our earthly desires and follow Him. It won’t always be easy, but it’s not supposed to be. Matthew 7:13-14 says, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
Jesus tells us to follow Him wherever He goes. There is a song from the 1970’s called “I Will Follow Him”. It keeps playing over and over in my head when I think about following Jesus wherever. The chorus goes like this:
- I will follow him, follow him wherever he may go
- There isn’t an ocean too deep
- A mountain so high it can keep, keep me away
- Away from my love
When is the last time we said we would follow Jesus wherever? This is a secular love song, but Jesus maybe calling us to deep oceans or high mountains or anything that seems utterly impossible without His grace and His strength. I want to follow Jesus wherever He calls me. Maybe it’s just to the neighbor next door or maybe it’s all the way across the world.
I know this walk with Jesus requires everything, no matter how uncomfortable it might be. I pray that I always say, “Yes, Lord. Send me.”
Won’t you follow Jesus wherever today?