Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)
THE ABOVE scripture spells out loud the price to be paid in order to follow Jesus. Truth is, Jesus forces none to follow Him, so it is strictly a personal decision for all who desire to take this bold step.
The gospel involves the principle of making Jesus Christ, Lord of your life. Thus, dethroning self, putting Christ on the throne of your life, taking up your cross and following Him.
But Jesus knowing the very nature of man (selfish) made things very clear so that even before we decide to take the step, we are already in the knowing of what we are getting into.
Simply put, He says man must dethrone himself, and after dethroning, to avoid the temptation of putting back the selfish man on the throne, the selfish man must be crucified on the cross, then put Christ on the throne of your life to reign without interruptions. Because the reality is that, two cannot reign on the same throne, at the same time, one must die or give way for the other to fully take charge.
When Jesus died and resurrected, He gave us a new identity, contrary to our selfish nature. So, when we crucify the selfish man on the cross, a selfless man resurrects by the power of the Holy Spirit. So, actually, putting Jesus on the throne of your life to reign can only be made possible if you believe in Him. It is only after you die to your old self by accepting Jesus as Lord and savior that you get empowered by the Spirit of God to walk in Jesus’s steps. Without Christ man is just a useless and self-scented mold of clay walking the face of the earth.
Many Christians claiming to be followers of Christ, are already reigning. They are kings and lords of their own lives yet they claim Christ is. Many are unconsciously into idolatry because they are worshiping themselves rather than God. Everything they do is self-scented. The “Me” word is the favorite choice of word all day. They honor themselves in all they do rather than God.
But if we are not pursuing God and His purposes, becoming addicted to His kingdom priority, we are merely serving God to be blessed by Him and “using” Him as a means to the end of our problems when He is actually an end in Himself. We end up living frustrated lives as Christians when our expectations are not met. Then we grow in bitterness towards those the King blesses because they genuinely sought after Him.
Jesus sacrificed everything for us and so we must be willing to also sacrifice all these temporal stuffs to follow Him to gain the eternal. After all, it is only in and by Him that all things made holds.
Are you willing to pay the price?