Pick Up Your Cross

457802d6329c8dc6304e8618650ea949This past week I had an amazing encounter with the Lord. It was one of those times when I clearly saw God directing my steps and changing my path. It wasn’t what I expected, but He is a Good, Good Father and He knows how to get us out of situations that are no longer beneficial to us.

As I was getting dressed that day, I prayed the Lord would take care of the situation quickly. I didn’t want it to drag out. There had already been too much drama. I dreaded going in. I didn’t know how it would all unfold, but I hoped it would turn out better than my gut was telling me it would.

As I was driving into what I felt would be a stressful situation, I had a song come to mind. It was Crucified with Christ by Phillips, Craig and Dean. I had the CD with that song in my car so I turned it on and had time to listen to the song one time fully before I arrived at my destination.

As the song played, the Lord began to speak to my heart . . . When you pick up your cross and follow, you know you’re walking to Golgotha. You know it’s about to get worse, but you still deny yourself and keep walking. The cross is heavy and you’re already in pain, but you keep walking straight toward death, ready to enter more pain and ready to forgive.

I thanked the Lord for going before me. I prayed He would order my steps. I had no idea exactly what to expect. The person I was going to talk to had shown two very different sides of himself. I didn’t know which one I would be encountering. I prayed the good side. I prayed the good side was the true side.

I wasn’t there even 15 minutes and the situation became volatile. There was nothing that could be done, but to leave with grace.

I know the situation was steeped in a spiritual battle. We don’t wrestle with flesh and blood, but with spiritual wickedness in high places. When a circumstance becomes unstable, confusing and full of lies and accusations, the enemy is present. The enemy of our souls comes to kill, steal and destroy. There are many “good” people out there that allow themselves to become a conduits and voice for the accuser and father of lies.

We cannot be surrendered to Christ and still maintain full control. There are many “good” people who say they live for Christ, but are doing it out of their own strength. Human strength is not enough to overcome the enemy. Unless we are willing to pick up our cross, lay down our lives, and allow Jesus full reign, we are fooling ourselves. We must be born again of water and Spirit or we will not see the kingdom of Heaven (John 3:5).

Living for the Lord isn’t about it being easy. The cross is about death. We must die so He can live through us.

Stay encouraged as you go through your battle today. Jesus was mocked, spit on, falsely accused, tortured and tormented. In pain, He picked up His cross and walked to the hill of death. He knew the worse was coming. Humiliation, more pain, rejection, the broken hearts of his friends and family. He suffered. He died.

And then He rose again, conquering death, hell and the grave!

What is your Golgotha today? What situation is God asking you to walk into? It may be volatile, dangerous and confusing. Keep walking. Keep following Him. Allow Him to direct your steps. He goes before you. He is with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. You may have to die, but you will rise again in new life!

The situation will end, and you will be out of there! You will receive victory. You may have some recovery time, but you will be strong again. Pick up your cross and follow Jesus! His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts higher than our thoughts.

I’m praying for you today.
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