Bearing the Cross

"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."  (Luke 14:26)

You must bear your own cross.  Don't be a preacher or a pastor unless God calls you.  God takes care of your economic needs.  Manual labor like cleaning and gardening is good.  The closer you draw to God, the more the fruit the plants and trees yield.  There is another cross - a cross which will weigh on us.  That cross is our self-love and selfishness.  The fallen nature in us is a big weight.  Our enemy is our old nature.  That is a cross.  You cannot be humble and meek.  The element of pride shows up in our talk and actions.  You find in the presence of God that you are your own enemy.  You will find that you can't bear fruit which Heaven expects from you.  Therefore with your nature you have your greatest struggle.  When a man wants to follow Jesus, he must evaluate his spiritual life.  Am I righteous?  Am I worthy?  Some families have low standards of righteousness; no amount of teaching will make them learn.  They can't serve the Lord.

Fools and the ungodly rush in where angels fear to tread.  This is true in the religious field.  Many do not sit and reckon with themselves.  Can I go?  Can I follow?  How far?  In Pilgrim's Progress, we see the way is long - through the mire, over the hill of difficulty, then to meet lions.

The strategy in war in ancient times and modern times is that the enemy will not let you know his strength.  The English and the French failed to estimate the strength of Hitler.  So he won in Flanders and in France.  They did not know how many tanks the Germans had.   Hitler concealed this from them.  It appeared as though he had engaged all of his army.  The British overcame them all and were tired.  Then reinforcements of fresh tanks and fresh soldiers appeared.  The British and the French could not stand against them.  Hitler won that time.  Do you know the strength of the enemy, the devil?  Did you study the Bible well?  How many godly men succumbed to the devil!  The gifted Samson failed, Asa failed in his old age, Hezekiah failed in his later days.  Do you know how David failed?  Know the strength of the devil.  We wrestle not against flesh and blood!  There is no one whom Satan cannot deceive and defeat.  Be humble.  Calculate your strength.  Don't undertake to do something for the Lord without knowing your strength.