Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."Matthew 16:24
Following Christ is to be a disciple of Christ and requires denying self and picking up our cross. Christ speaks to us through the Holy Spirit, and we seek his guidance through prayer. When our hearts seek to follow Christ we have become a servant of the Lord and an ambassador for Christ.
We follow Christ as he leads us to be a light in this world. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5) If we abide in Christ then we can bear fruit, because his guidance directs us to minister to souls, and he places his words and scriptures in our thoughts. We must depend on Christ to guide us through life as we reflect Jesus to the world. How can we follow Christ if we do not depend on him?
The most difficult part in following Christ is to deny self. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. (Galatians 5:17) We make choices everyday where the battle exists between our will and God’s will, and sometimes the battle is our subconscious mind, meaning we have justified our will. It’s always good to call on the Spirit to determine if the Lord is not pleased with our will.
Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16) Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. (1 John 2:6) If you love me, keep my commands. (John 14:15) We obey the Lord’s commands, the Lord renews our mind to the mind of Christ, and we strive to live as Jesus lived. This is process that continues all through our life that makes us more Christ-like. God is love and the more love we have in our hearts the closer we are to the Lord and the more Christ-like we become.
He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27) To me this is the most important verse in the Bible because God’s love in our hearts changes us to be more like Jesus. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4) The more our hearts are filled with God’s divine love, the more Christ becomes our life.
Today seek to follow the Spirit by praying for his guidance. Deny self and develop an attitude of living for Christ. Always remember the Holy Spirit lives in you and is always connecting to you to Christ.
Prayer: Lord, help me follow you and depend on you in everything I do, and let everything I do be done for you and pleasing in your sight. Thank you Lord for always being with me through the Spirit. In Jesus name, Amen