There is a song that we sing in worship that I have found so rich with meaning and so moving that I can’t get it out of my head. It’s a song by Hillsong called Lead Me to the Cross.
As I continue to mull over the words and sing the song in my head, I pause to consider what some of the words really mean. Two stanzas in particular stand out to me as phrases with deep, often misunderstood, meaning.
Everything I once held dear…I count it all as lost
Bring me to my knees… Lord I lay me down… Rid me of myself
I think of myself and others that I know who, as their walk with Christ became stronger, found themselves in difficult times. Some lost their jobs, endured broken relationships, became reattached to their addictions, became one with deadly disease, lost all of their financial wealth, lost children and spouses, and on and on. These journeymen and women ultimately found themselves at the foot of the cross without self-reliance, self-sufficiency, pride, completely broken… void of their own agenda. Empty of self… truly on their knees… seeking the One who could sustain them. The One who gives hope. The One who promised,
Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. Hebrews 13:5
The first part of that scripture actually reads,
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. Hebrews 13:5
I guess the point that I wish to make is that the journey to the cross is never an easy one. The choice to follow Christ included some small print that explains the necessity to die to oneself. Any phrase with the word ‘die’ in it can’t be pleasant.
If our goal is to follow Christ, then we must either take action or be put through some events/seasons/times that will purge ourselves of pride, self-will, selfishness, self-esteem, self-reliance, and all the other things that cause us to think about ourselves first and God second. He will lead us through a journey to the cross that will involve humility and loss of self, but it will strengthen our faith, and will ultimately result in holiness. This is mentioned over and over in scripture.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. Matthew 16:24-25
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. John 12:24-25
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:16-17
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8
Are you on that part of your journey to the cross where things are just out of control? Are you feeling less and less able to control circumstances and situations. If so, praise God. He loves you way too much to leave you the way that you are.
He knows everything! He knows your aches and pains, hurts and worries, fears and losses.
He is with you! He’s not just reaching down from Heaven to lend you a hand. He is omnipresent: above, below, beside… you are swaddled in His care.
He is ready to move on your behalf! God’s word is alive and it is a comfort to our souls and He will be our help in time of trouble. We must put our trust in him no matter what the earthly circumstances are in our lives. God is a faith moving God! Faith moves Him. Therefore we must have faith in Him to sustain us and have mercy on us and to save us from ourselves. Hebrews 11:6 states,
but without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him.”
No matter your circumstance… no matter what leg of the journey to the cross that you are on… Seek Him! Praise Him! Trust Him! Have Faith! Be patient, faithfully, and let God be God!