“Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” – Luke 9:23 NLT
From the moment we are able to understand language, we are taught to never give up. Perhaps that’s why it is so difficult to completely follow Jesus. To be His follower, each of us must give up our own way.
Let’s be clear. Jesus does not ask us to give up our possessions, our wealth, our riches. He does not ask us to give up our future. He does not ask us to give up relationships.
What He demands is that we give up “our own way.” We must give up our right to make our own decisions. In doing so, we will lose possessions, future aspirations, and certain relationships. But those are not what Jesus wants from us. What He wants is our will.
On the surface that sounds harsh. But Jesus wants us to know that our will has its own end: “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it (Luke 9:24 NLT).” In the end, our will comes to nothing; His will comes to everything.