“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”
There’s a song called, “Servant of All” by Misty Edwards. Whenever I read or hear this verse I always begin to sing the lyrics,
“I’m in love with a king who became a slave
I’m in love with a God who is humble
You gotta go down if you wanna go up
And You’ve gotta go lower if you wanna go higher and higher
Well you’ve gotta hide and do it in secret if you wanna be seen by God
Cause it’s the inside outside upside down kingdom
Where you lose to gain and you die to live”
Following Jesus is a commitment. We commit our lives to Him and we decide daily to lay down our lives and pick up our cross. We make a decision with each choice we make to deny ourselves – our selfish desires or to deny Christ himself.
Jesus demonstrated in the Garden of Gethsemane that the Father’s will always took precedence over his. In deep sorrow for what was to come, Jesus prayed that God might carry out His plan a different way, but fully submitted himself to what God wanted to do. The next day, he humbly picked up his cross. He carried it and was nailed to it demonstrating that he would do the Father’s will the Father’s way.
Commitment builds up faith and develops character. It’s a spiritual discipline. It is a lifetime venture requiring time, work, and determination. We must go down to go up in God’s inside, outside, upside down kingdom.