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. 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 9:23-24 NLT
We all like to feel we have some control over our lives. When we lack all power, we're unhappy; when we try to control too much, we're miserable. The challenge is finding that balance. Identifying the things we can realistically manage and those we need to let go.
As believers, we recognize the one thing certainly outside the realm of our control is saving our souls. It can't be done. Countless secular self-help books exist that may help, but there's only one true self-help book, the Bible, and its author is God–the authoritative voice.
When we put into practice what the Bible says, when it becomes our daily habit, we take everything to God first. He helps us in the discernment process to understand what we can control and what we need to relinquish.
Taking our cross up daily means being in a committed relationship with him. Not to just come running when things go south but make it a priority. When we do this, he makes us whole and healthy, freeing us from undue burdens and saving our lives.
Loving and compassionate God, thank you for your care. We confess we have control issues. Instead of turning to you, we try to control things we shouldn't and fail to manage those things we should. Forgive us; we pray. Help us to seek your face daily, to turn everything over to you in prayer, listen to your voice, and obey. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.