“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24 NKJV
Whenever the story of the rich young ruler in Matthew 19 is read, some people hold the opinion that Jesus demanded too much from the young man. How could Jesus have asked a wealthy, accomplished fellow to sell all that he had and to follow Him? To leave his comfort and riches, and to endanger his life by following Jesus who didn’t even have a place to lay His head (Luke 9:58).
The problem with this perspective is the estimation of Jesus that most people subconsciously have. In theory, you may consider Him as Lord and Saviour but when it all comes down to it, can you lay down your all for the One who laid down His life for you? If Jesus gave the same instruction to us today, would we oblige in a heartbeat or would we turn our backs on Him like the rich, young ruler did?
One of the signs of maturity in the faith is consecration. This is because salvation comes with a responsibility to no longer live for yourself but for Him who died for you and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:15). You must live a life that is completely sold out to Christ and His cause.
Our anchor text admonishes us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus. This is how to be consecrated. You must first be willing to sever anything that stands in the way of your faith.
The line between good and seemingly good has become more and more blurred in the world today. It will take discernment to know the will of God and to openly stand for God, regardless of what it may cost you.
Remember Joseph? He was at crossfires between pleasing his boss’ wife and sinning against God (Genesis 39:7-10). But Joseph’s response to the situation proved his consecration to God. Not only did he profess his faith in God but in the face of persecution, his actions matched his words. Can that be said about you? Have you built tenacity so that come what may, you will always be found on God’s side?
Dear believer, God is worth your time and your commitment. It is time to get serious with Him. Make Him your priority, give your time and devotion to Him, and witness how He makes a name for Himself with your life!
PRAYER: I declare that God sits at the throne of my heart. I lay aside every unnecessary weight that will hinder me from living a life of consecration.
Bible Reading Plan: Jeremiah 35-37