23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. (NIV)
If you have ever tried to change any habit, you can see how monumental discipleship is. How many resolutions have we made only to fail in a short period of time? Yet, discipleship is not changing one thing. It is the complete undoing of our ontology. He has called us to become new creations.
The original language in this passage calls for us to pursue Christ so much that we become enclitic meaning, who we are naturally is barely seen because the character of Christ is so prominent within all we do. This is discipleship.
It is not that we don’t know what to do. We must be like Christ who came only to do what the Father called Him to do. We must live a life serving the Lord’s purpose – to seek, save, and disciple people back to Him. This purpose must pervade every conversation and every thought superseding what we want for ourselves. If we know what to do, why is it so hard?
I believe the key to success is found in the word ‘daily.’ Daily discipleship for the Lord has a few implications that we must grasp to become disciples of Christ.
To live daily is consistency. When we are fighting our very nature that has been corrupted since Eden, we must persist with tenacity day after day. It literally requires discipline to become a disciple. If we expect this to be easy, we are delusional.
To live daily is trust. To live fully immersed in today, I am not worried about tomorrow. I do not allow what might happen, the ‘what-ifs’ of life to get in my head and distract me. These are the things that will weigh down our spirit making it easy to want to escape the anxiety with a self-gratifying lifestyle.
Finally, to live daily is grace. The Bible says His mercy is new every morning. When we have a failed day, we get up the next day with a fresh start. We cannot beat ourselves down with guilt or shame. Each day is like living a new life.
If we hold on to these three truths of consistency, trust, and grace, we will see ourselves more consistently living a disciple’s life.
Prayer: Lord, give me consistency to follow You, the trust I need to not stress, and the grace to forgive myself so I can follow You all the days of my life. Amen.