Taking up our Cross
How great and precious is the experience of that soul, who
can look into the face of another and joyfully exclaim, “I
am delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also
of Jesus might be manifested in my mortal flesh.”
When our union with Jesus through His work upon the Cross
is effectively working in our lives, only then can we show
forth the excellence of He who called us into this marvelous
light. It is when the power of the Word is working in us that
we are able to impart the living Word to others.
There are two inseparable steps that the Lord uses to bring
us into this experience. These steps are, first, our identification
with the Lord in His death on the cross, and, second, our
identity with Him in resurrection life and power.
As the Holy Spirit makes known to us the commitment and obedience
that led Jesus to the cross, our hearts go out to Him in love
and worship, and we are lifted into the place where we are
able to identify with Him in His death and resurrection. As
we behold the joy of being transformed into His image in resurrection
life, we are changed by His presence and begin to experience
“the realm of spiritual reality.” Here, we see
glimpses of the King in all His resurrection beauty, and we
are enabled to enter into a Kingdom relationship with Him.
As we cry out in a deepening hunger, “Father, make
me like Jesus,” the Holy Spirit will quicken our understanding
of the deeper meaning of this intense spiritual desire, and
step by step, the way of entrance will begin to unfold before
us. It is one thing to see our great privileges in Christ,
but it is another to possess them.
In order to have the life of Jesus manifested in us, we must
die daily. As we appropriate the power of our union with Christ
in His death by reckoning ourselves dead in Him, the marvelous
work which our Lord has already done for us, will be applied
to every weakness, to every movement of the flesh, and every
attack of the enemy. We will receive His life and strength
to enable us to rise above all these things and overcome.
We cannot put on any attribute of Christ, until the opposite
fleshly trait has been removed by our identification with
Christ in His death. We cannot be adorned with a meek and
quiet spirit, when we are already controlled by a spirit of
self-esteem and self- assertion. We cannot dwell in holy quietness
before God, which comes from His presence alone, when we are
clinging to the noise and clamor of our own activities and
These have to do with the movements and frailties of the
human nature, to which we must die daily, if we would go from
victory to victory and from glory to glory, as we die to these
movements and temptations, and rise into identification with
our Lord in His resurrection power and life. The Lord has
made every provision for a full and perfect victory, but there
is no victory without a battle.
God is loving and tender. His desire is so great for us to
shine forth in an ever increasing likeness of “the Son
of His love,” that as rapidly as we will allow, He will
make opportunities for us to take up our cross and die to
those self seeking attributes which occupy the place of His
abiding presence. It is in our body that the life of our Lord
is to be manifested, which will increase until “that
day” when He will be seen through us in His full glory.
The Lord is always gracious and will never leave the honest
soul in ignorance of his condition; but will reveal it as
fast as that soul can endure. We will come to see how we have
been protecting ourselves from death. Then the Holy Spirit
will whisper within us the precious words, “Take up
your cross daily, that the life of Christ might be manifested
as you follow Him .”
Here is the real test. Many have come thus far, but when
they begin to comprehend what it will mean in suffering, humiliation,
and death, in order to have the life of Christ fully manifested,
they cannot pay the price. They may not voice their intention
of turning back, but they turn away from the cross that is
before them and choose something of lesser value.
How different it is with those who set their faces like a
flint, and let God increase their desire to be like their
Lord. The Christly attributes grow clearer and clearer, until
the life of Christ in all its beauty and glory is manifested
in their mortal bodies, where the weaknesses and defects of
the flesh had previously been in control.
Jesus was not resurrected and glorified without first dying.
Neither can His followers be transfigured into His likeness
in resurrection life, unless the power of His death is working
daily in every avenue of their being. There is a continual
passing through this process. Not that we are always dying
to the same things. Rather, we are to go from grace to grace
and victory to victory. The battle fields of yesterday with
its enemies, will never again have power over us, if we gained
the victory as an overcomer.
Now we are ready to face the battles of tomorrow, and in
victory we can say,
“You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its
For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by
Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people
and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our
God; And we shall reign on the earth.” Rev 5:9-10 NKJV.