Living on Purpose: What does the cross mean to you?

Billy Holland

We used to sing a vineyard worship song whose chorus said, "Refining fire / our one heart's desire / is to be holy / set apart for you, Lord / I choose to be holy /Set apart for you, my Master / ready to do your will."

When a person accepts Christ, they make a holy vow of commitment to Jesus that promises they will never flirt, tease or engage in any type of romantic activity with sin. It's easy to sing a song, but are we really serious about our commitment and dedication?

What are we thinking when we sing songs like this? "Set a fire down in my soul / that I can't contain / that I can't control / I want more of you God / I want more of you God." Do we really want to be filled with him, or just enough to make it to heaven?

Maybe we do not realize what salvation actually is. Matthew 16:24 is such a profound statement from Jesus and worthy of our highest consideration: "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."

The reality of us being lost and then being found is the greatest gift we could ever receive. To believe with faith and be saved by his grace is a miracle from heaven. However, in case no one ever mentioned it, being born again is not without conditions or accountability. There is more to being saved than just raising your hand and receiving a golden ticket.

Redemption is entering into a marriage covenant with Christ and taking a holy vow to give ourselves entirely to him and to allow him to reign within us as Lord and King. We are not just dating the Lord; we are to be completely sold out to him 100%. Not 50 or 60% committed. We are to be walking in his presence every moment. We are to be "living" in the holy of holies with him.

How many have a passion for this type of relationship? Probably not that many, which is why they call his followers a remnant. The truth is that very few really want to be committed to this extent. What makes me say that? Well, we can see that hardly anyone is this radical, and we can also examine our own life and determine if we are living in this extreme spiritual level. We are able to do whatever we want, and this means we can be as close to God as we desire.

However, if we are not as close to him as we can be, something must be stopping us. What is it? Is it simply a rebellious refusal to surrender our will to Jesus? Do we actually have a passion to become sanctified and holy to the point where sin makes us nauseated? Are we in control of our life, or is our life in control of us?

Human nature has its own ideas about living for God, and the devil is always ready to educate us with his own distorted persuasions and influences. We would rather do anything in the world than to let go of our independence and decision-making power.

Listen very carefully, my friends. This is not an opinion or some type of spiritual speculation. This is a holy reality directly from God: There is only one throne upon your heart, and there can only be one of two possible kings who can be sitting on it: Jesus or Satan.

You might be convinced that you are in charge of your own destiny, and you might be proud that you did it "your way," but you were duped by the dark side and were actually serving yourself?

God is asking for all of us to look into the mirror and accept who is really the Lord of our thoughts and plans. Are we willing to lay down our will so that we can embrace his, or are we satisfied to leave our lives exactly as they are?

Today, if our life is not a representation and demonstration of the nature and character of God, then obviously Jesus is not ruling on the throne of our heart. The cross is a symbol of death and hope all at the same time. Jesus died and rose from the dead. Likewise, our old nature must die so that we can live as a brand-new creation in Christ.

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