Bearing our Cross
Oswald Chambers Index
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." Luke 9:23
The test of our spiritual life is our understanding of the cross. The cross of Jesus is often wrongly taken as a type of the cross we have to carry. Jesus did not say, 'If anyone will come after Me, let him take up My cross,' but 'let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.'
"Our cross becomes our divinely appointed privilege by means of His cross. We are never called upon to carry His cross.
"We have so hallowed the cross by twenty centuries of emotion and sentiment that it sounds a very beautiful and pathetic thing to talk about carrying our cross. But a wooden cross with iron nails in it is a clumsy thing to carry.
"The real cross was like hat, and do we imagine that the external cross was more ugly than our actual one? Or that the thing that tore our Lord's hands and feet was not really so terrible as our imagination of it?"
"...whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple." Luke 14:27
"The rich young ruler had the master passion to be perfect. When he saw Jesus Christ, he wanted to be like Him. Our Lord never puts personal holiness to the fore when He calls a disciple; He puts absolute annihilation of my right to myself and identification with Himself—a relationship with Himself in which there is no other relationship. Luke 14:26 has nothing to do with salvation or sanctification, but with unconditional identification with Jesus Christ. Very few of us know the absolute 'go' of abandonment to Jesus.
“'Then Jesus beholding him loved him.' The look of Jesus will mean a heart broken for ever from allegiance to any other person or thing. Has Jesus ever looked at you? The look of Jesus transforms and transfixes. Where you are ‘soft’ with God is where the Lord has looked at you. If you are hard and vindictive, insistent on your own way, certain that the other person is more likely to be in the wrong than you are, it is an indication that there are whole tracts of your nature that have never been transformed by His gaze.
“'One thing thou lackest. . .' The only ‘good thing’ from Jesus Christ’s point of view is union with Himself and nothing in between.
“'Sell whatsoever thou hast. . .' I must reduce myself until I am a mere conscious man, I must fundamentally renounce possessions of all kinds, not to save my soul, (only one thing saves a man— absolute reliance upon Jesus Christ) but in order to follow Jesus. 'Come, and follow Me.' And the road is the way He went." (September 28)
"I have been crucified with Christ." Gal. 2:20
"The imperative need spiritually is to sign the death-warrant of the disposition of sin, to turn all emotional impressions and intellectual beliefs into a moral verdict against the disposition of sin, viz., my claim to my right to myself....
“ '. . . nevertheless I live . . . .” The individuality remains, but the mainspring, the ruling disposition, is radically altered. ...
“'And the life which I now live in the flesh . . . ,' -- the life I now live in my mortal flesh, the life which men can see -- 'I live by the faith of the Son of God.' This faith is not Paul’s faith in Jesus Christ, but the faith that the Son of God has imparted to him—'the faith of the Son of God.' It is no longer faith in faith, but faith which has overleapt all conscious bounds, the identical faith of the Son of God." (March 21)