Following Jesus has always been something unique from how the rest of the world operates. But how? Christ followers are called to put others before themselves and be others focused. So much of our society today is self-focused, which is why following Jesus is so different. Jesus tells us to deny ourselves and follow Him.
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. Mark 8:34-35
Jesus tells us to deny ourselves, to die to ourselves. He says that whoever wants to save their life must lose it. That is so counter to our culture but it is exactly what God has called us to.
To deny ourselves, take up our cross or die to ourselves means that we are so in love with Jesus that we will die in order to follow Him. We must realize our need for Him and put Him and His will above ourselves. What this is saying is, we must deny our sinful tendencies, realize that God’s way is the best way and follow Him. We put all of our own desires and wants aside because of who Jesus is. In order to do this, we need to trust Him fully and lean on Him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
When we trust God and submit to Him, He makes our path straight. No matter how dark things look, will you pick up your cross daily and trust God with everything?