To take up your cross means that you lay down your life to be made useful in the kingdom of God.
The God of love desires to draw you out of yourself into oneness with Him.
HE WANTS TO RESCUE US OUT OF OUR PRISONS OF SELF-CENTEREDNESS AND DESTRUCTIVE CARNALITY AND BRING US INTO THE JOY OF HIS PRESENCE AND HEAVENLY BLISS.
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
WE EITHER CONFORM TO THE IDOLS OF THIS WORLD OR TO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST
I want to share with you the wonder of the Father’s heart about man and how He spoke it unto me.
The Father said to me that there is “THAT PLACE” “THAT DEEPEST MOST SACRED PLACE” “THAT ULTIMATE PLACE” in God’s Kingdom called “The deepest desire of the heart of the Father”
He said that the very thought, idea, desire, design and plan concerning man originated out of that deepest most sacred place called “The deepest desire of the heart of the Father”
You were drawn out of that place which is the core and the essence of God’s nature which means LOVE BIRTHED YOU.
You were designed and created to respond to love. Anything beyond that is not of God.
That’s why Satan since birth even, with many people tried to offend us against love through abusive relationships and human brokenness. He knows that if he can succeed to pervert pure love then you will flee from God and expose yourself to the destruction of lust. Lust is his replacement for pure love.
This is why many people got molested sexually as children or abused by parents, relatives or family members even strangers. Satan knows that if he can succeed to destroy the foundation of a child through hurt, destruction and abuse then that child will be crippled for life.
This is why we struggle many times to respond to the love of God because we are kept in bondage through our inward brokenness that prevents us from responding to His love. We need to be changed by being touched by the power of God’s nature to restore us back unto love. Love birthed and created us and we are called to return to love.
LUST BREAKS US DOWN AND DESTROYS US AND LEAVES US EMPTY AND MISERABLE
LOVE RESTORES, REBUILDS AND HEALS US AND IS THE ONLY THING THAT CAN TRULY SATISFY
This is why we must be willing to sacrifice everything and allow God to deliver us from everything that keeps us away from His love.
One day during worship in my room Jesus came and stood face to face with me and spoke the following to me; ” isn’t it amazing how you fight the fiery hand of love that wants to rescue and deliver you from the influence of your corrupted fleshly desires when all that I want to do, through your personal cross, is to take you unto Myself because I want to be with you.”
We must allow the God of love to bring us back to himself and to keep working in us until we say like David in Psalm 131:2 Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. 3 Let Israel hope in the LORD from this time forth and forever.
We do not submit ourselves to God’s workings through a personal cross to be saved because salvation is a free gift which was purchased by the blood of Jesus and cannot be earned.
We do however choose to embrace the way of the cross to be brought by God into an overcoming experience because what does it help to only be saved unto salvation through the finished work of the cross of Jesus Christ then never experience the further blessing of being delivered, changed and set free by the work of the cross?
Do we want to be saved but selfish, self-centered, broken, angry and lustful children of God still full of sin and carnality or do we want to see our God further glorified by allowing Him to kick the devil completely out of our broken lives?
Also, God does not save us to only live for ourselves beloved. We are called to serve in the kingdom of our heavenly Father and to receive the victor’s crown of the overcomer by completing the race set before us.
The upward call of God in Christ is when you allow Him to draw you out of yourself and your own little world into the majesty and glory of His shared Being as Jesus declared to me, “YOU MOVE FROM SPENDING TIME TO BEING WITH ME”
1 Therefore seeing we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily ensnare us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
No one can walk with Jesus and be His overcoming reigning bride if they cling to self and this world because the Lord has a kingdom agenda and the flesh of man has a self-agenda and these two are in conflict with each other.
Remember always that to be only a born-again saved citizen of heaven on the level of salvation and to to take up the cross and follow Jesus as an actual disciple are two completely different kind of individuals in the household of the Father.
Consider the following scripture; 2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord knows them that are His. And, Let every one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel to honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared to every good work.
Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
If you are not willing to become a servant then you cannot be His disciple.
If you desire to sit at the table of the Lord as one of His true friends, brothers and close disciples then consider the following words of Jesus.
Luke 22:25 And He said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
26 But you shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that does serve.
27 For who is greater, he that sits at table, or he that serves? is not he that sits at table? but I am among you as he that serves.
28 You are they who have continued with Me in my trials.
29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as My Father has appointed unto Me;
30 That you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
IF YOU DESIRE TO BE CONSIDERED A TRUE DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST THEN YOU MUST TAKE UP YOUR CROSS AND LAY DOWN YOUR LIFE TO BECOME A SERVANT IN GOD’S KINGDOM. HERE WE ARE ALL SERVANTS.
John 15:10 If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
12 This is My commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 You are My friends, if you do whatsoever I command you.
If you want to live for yourself then expect to be placed in a much lower ranking and realm in the kingdom than the Lord’s servant bride.
His disciples are fishers of men and to become a co-labourer with God in His harvest field, the self-life must go.
Luke 9:57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow you wherever you go.
58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.
59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father.
60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but you go and preach the kingdom of God.
61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow you; but let me first go bid them farewell, who are at home at my house.
62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
THE COST OF BECOMING A DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST IS VERY HIGH THAT’S WHY MOST CHRISTIANS DON’T ANSWER THE CALL.
Luke 14: 16 Then said He unto him, A certain man gave a great supper, and bade many:
17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it: I pray you have me excused.
19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them: I pray you have me excused.
20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
21 So that servant came, and showed his lord these things. Then the Master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor, and the maimed, and the lame, and the blind.
22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as you have commanded, and yet there is room.
23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
24 For I say unto you, That none of those men who were bidden shall taste of my supper.
25 And there went great multitudes with Him: and He turned, and said unto them,
26 If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.
27 And whosoever does not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple. (THROUGH THE CROSS YOU LOSE YOUR LIFE AND YOU TAKE UP THE LIFE OF THE LORD TO SERVE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD)
28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first, and counts the cost, whether he has enough to finish it?
29 Lest perhaps, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sits not down first, and consults whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him that comes against him with twenty thousand?
32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation, and desires conditions of peace.
33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple.
34 Salt is good: but if the salt has lost its taste, how shall it be restored?
35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dung hill; but men cast it out. He that has ears to hear, let him hear.
We partake of the Lord’s sufferings if we desire to reign with Him as serving priests and kings. It is the high calling of God in Christ Jesus and to attain the victory one must run in order to be successfully crowned.
1 Corinthians 9:24 Know you not that they who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain.
25 And every man that strives for self control is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not with uncertainty; so fight I, not as one that beats the air:
27 But I roughly treat my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.
I am sure this is all starting to make sense to you now. Remember if Satan cannot steal your salvation then be sure he will attempt to steal your crown by causing you to live for yourself.
Are you willing to let go of your old self-centered carnal heart that wants to keep you in bondage to the lower life of the flesh or are you willing to embrace the challenge of discipleship?
Do you just want to be a saved person or do you desire to be raised up as an overcomer?
As Christians we have been called to conform to the death of His cross so that the new order of the life of Christ might be brought forth through a powerful resurrection and demonstration of the Spirit of glory into manifest sonship.
Do you want to stay in yourself or do you want to be found in Christ?
The scripture clearly says that if anyone is in Christ then he will be a whole new creation created after God in true righteousness and holiness.
The Spirit of the Lord declares this reality in the following manner, TO BE IN CHRIST describes a condition and state of being that is given by God in His word that must be clearly understood. The glory and the reality of the new-birth in Christ is realized through a spiritual resurrection and manifested in a new creation that has been born of God.
In this elevated position your heart is not influenced by earthly desire anymore because your heart has been totally transformed and conquered by the love of God. To be in Christ means that the Lord’s agenda has become number one priority in your surrendered life as you allow yourself to be led and influenced by His Spirit.
The truth and reality of sonship must be clearly understood because there is much deception concerning this matter amongst the immature.
A life lived in the flesh pursues earthly things and selfish desire whereas a life in the Spirit pursues and administers the agenda of heaven in the earth to the lost, the needy, the sick, the poor, the afflicted, the widow and the orphan.
The scripture does not say if anyone is in himself but rather if anyone is in Christ because if you are still in bondage to yourself then the evidence of that will be that you are still living for yourself and are still driven by the lust of the flesh, the pride of life and the lust of the eyes, which are satanic distractions that keeps the soul of man in carnal bondage and ignorant to the ways of God.
But when you have been transformed in the cocoon of God’s grace and have developed into a mature son after the likeness of Christ and your flesh have been crucified and buried in the tomb (Rom 6), then the reality of being resurrected into Christ will be evident in a life that is lived by the power of God’s Spirit.
YOU WILL WALK AS JESUS WALKED
You will worship God in Spirit and in truth which means that your whole life will be conformed to the standard of the truth of the Lord’s gospel and you will live by the power of His Spirit manifesting the fruits, the virtues and realities of the Christ-life.
This is what is meant in Gal 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.
This is a powerful gospel and it must be understood through the mind of the Spirit because His work is an accomplished work as we said earlier in this study, In Christ we have already won, it is just now being worked out in our lives as we grow up into the fullness of Him. The King’s victory can only be realised when you become a person whom the Lord has conquered.
Remember the Lord is not revealing these deeper truths about His gospel to you to put condemnation on you; rather He is waking you up to the reality of your true spiritual condition.
He is revealing to you the shallowness of the traditions and the doctrines of men which enslaves His people and keeps them locked up in spiritual prisons of despair and hopelessness while they are serving themselves of the Lord’s flock to build their own fleshly kingdoms while being themselves in bondage to various lusts and sin.
There are far too many wolves running around in sheeps clothing and these will not escape the judgment of God (Ezekiel 34, Micah 3, Isaiah 3:12-26 and Jeremiah 23) To be in Christ is a state of being and the evidence will show in your life as a son or daughter in subjection to their Father and my reference to this is Isaiah 61 and Acts 10:38.
If you are NOT walking according to these scriptures and if these truths are not a living reality in your life, then my friend I am sad to say, YOU ARE NOT IN CHRIST BUT STILL IN YOURSELF and still understand things from your own perspective.
The life of the King in the kingdom of God is brought forth in the freedom of the Spirit as righteousness, joy and peace and the life of the flesh imprisons people in the ways of the world and keeps them in bondage to Satan’s carnal materialistic empire.
The life in the new creation of the Spirit is a life of freedom, joy and honorable ecstasy in the Presence of God compared to the life in the old fallen creation of bondage, oppression and suffering.
Let it therefore be known that the agenda of God is revealed in Isaiah 61 and the agenda of self is revealed in 1 John 2:15-16.
We are called to become bond-servants of God as Paul declared in Acts 20:22 I GO BOUND IN THE SPIRIT.
This means just as we used to be in bondage to sin, we now become the love-slaves of God. We become servants of righteousness by being yoked with the Lord. We then prove our devotion and servanthood to Jesus through our wilful obedience because we allowed Him to align our hearts with His heart.
When you have been brought to the place where you are clothed with, inhabited by and driven by the Spirit of Christ, then you will understand what it means to BE IN CHRIST.
You will declare like Jesus in Luke 2:49 How is it that you sought me? Knew you not that I must be about my Father’s business?
Your life will manifest the fruit of the Spirit because fruit is the mature stage of the seed. The reality of the Lord’s gospel will be evident in your life and the whole kingdom of darkness will be in total subjection to you as a person who has submitted himself to God in every area of his life.
To be wholly sanctified means that every area of your life will be under the control of the Holy Spirit and the devil will have no hold on you because you will be so hidden in God that you cannot be touched.
Jude verse 24 will be a living truth in your life which says, Now to Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.
We are called and have been ordained by the Lord God Almighty to become living epistles of His Sons gospel demonstrating the power and the reality of His kingdom within the earth. When your life has been transformed by the power of the true gospel of Christ then you will be a person who has become one with Him in vision, desire and purpose.
You will be one who has kissed the world GOOD-BYE.