There comes a time in every believer’s life when he/she comes to a major crossroad in their walk with the Lord. We often arrive at that crossroad as a result of God’s word stopping us dead in our tracks and when we look around we realize we are at a crossroad. Luke 9:23 is such a crossroad word from the Lord.
Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “…if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
The Word of God often causes a person to examine themselves. The above verse, at the right time in a believer’s life, will cause that believer to ask themselves…….’What am I doing? Am I denying myself daily for the cause of Christ? Am I making daily sacrifices for the cause of Christ? Am I, because of Christ, carrying my own cross daily? All of these questions combined are really asking: Have I mad a true commitement to Christ?
In order to have a true commitment to Christ, a believer must be willing to say to themselves on a daily basis, NO. We must say no to anything that simply satisfies the lust of our flesh. We must say no to anything that entices us to sin. We must say no to anything that puts Jesus Christ in a position of second place. We must say no to anything and everyone that does not line up with the Word of God.
A true commitment to Jesus Christ requires daily discipline. A true commitment requires a believer to do everything within their power to honor and glorify the Lord. It requires complete surrender of our body, mind and will to Christ. Failure to do so will cause a believer to be like the person in Luke 14:28-30 who started to build a tower but was unable to finish it. That builder was mocked and ridiculed by others because he started something and did not consider all that what was required.
A true commitment to Jesus Christ really means you are dedicated to being a disciple of Christ. Salvation does not necessarily guarantee a true commitment to Christ because there is a major distinction(s) between salvation and discipleship. Salvation is open to anyone who will come to Jesus by faith, but discipleship is strictly for believers who are willing to pay the price of following Him. Salvation means coming to the cross of Jesus, while discipleship means carrying that cross on a daily basis.
In order to have or make a true commitment to Jesus Christ one must love Jesus supremely. We must love Jesus more than we love ourselves. We must love Jesus more than father or mother, more than husband or wife, and more than brother and sister. Our love for Jesus Christ must be so strong that our love for others seems like hatred in comparison.
In order to have or make a true commitment to Jesus Christ we must also identify with Him on a daily basis by surrendering our will, plans and ambitions to Him so that we will be able to serve Him as he directs us. Only He knows the plans he has for us.
Many of us may have said and believe we have made a true commitment to Christ, but a sincere examination of how much time we spend with Him will prove if that is actually true. Having fellowship with other believers is so important on this earthly journey, but we should not spend more time doing that than we do spending time alone with Christ. Spending more time alone with Christ will allow you to be more of a blessing with those you fellowship with.
A true commitment to Christ qualifies you to be a disciple of Christ. And if we are not willing to be His disciple through a true commitment to Him, then He says, we are not worthy of Him. He made a true commitment to us. At the very least, we can make a commitment to commit to Him.
Gilbert Owens is a native of Roseboro and a columnist for The Sampson Independent.