“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Matthew 10:37-39 (NIV)
It’s a beautiful Sunday morning, and I’ve come to you with another amazing poem. “Pick Up Your Cross” is performed by Jacqulyn Whang and Chris Webb, and if it doesn’t describe me precisely, I don’t know what does! I often find myself treating prayer and reading my Bible like it’s an assignment, something I’m supposed to do. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels like this. Like the speakers of this poem, I can be heavily convicted on Sundays, but by Tuesday, I’m back to my old routine, absent of the presence of God.
It’s easy to say, “Pick up your cross,” but it’s much harder to do it. How can we enter the presence of God and stay there permanently, in constant fellowship with Him? Well instead of penciling Him into our daily routine, let’s schedule or daily lives around Him. Wake up praising Him every morning. If that means singing Tye Tribbett. Tasha Cobbs, or William Murphy badly in the shower, do it! What helps me most, because I’m a writer, is reading. Reading the Bible first of course, but also various books that help me become a better disciple, that help me control my anger (especially on the highway), and that teach me the right way to pray (anyone else intimidated by prayer?).
Sometimes conviction comes when you shut yourself off from the rest of the world. Cut off Hulu, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Cut off the television, your iPod. Get rid of all distractions, and take your Bible with you into the secret place. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust” (Psalms 91:1-2 NKJV).