“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” [Matthew 16:24]

For so many the word has been shared as a scary proposition.  Yet once accepted the reality of such a lifestyle is pure JOY!

First there is a promise from the Creator of the universe that we can walk behind Him, be an extension of Him, next in line to Him.  We can forget trying to figure it all out, forget the stress and struggle of making life work.  We can pick up our own cross!  That’s the one that was made for us, belongs to us, unlike anyone else’s; the cross that fits every part of our personality and being with ease and comfort.  My personal cross is the fullness of God’s will for me as an individual, not my old unregenerate will, but His will for my new life.  The place of my cross is where His power flows!  “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” [John 7:38]

Christ had a terrible Cross; it cost Him everything of Himself, plus all of our sin, all of our sickness, all of our failure, all of our pain, all of our disappointment, all of our bondage.  Christ knew something; He knew the goal of His Cross was great JOY!  Oswald Chambers says, “Some of us are like the Dead Sea, always taking in, but never giving out, because we are not rightly related to the Lord Jesus”

The fact is rivers flow.  They are a constant movement of reaching out and reaching forward to touch something outside of themselves and bring life.  That’s what rivers do they ‘flow through’.  For the Body of Christ this river is the life of Christ flowing through touching others and when it does the goal is ours.  JOY!

Further Reading:  Psalm 32; Isaiah 53; Matthew 11:28-30; Romans 8:17