If one does not take up his Cross, then he cannot be a disciple. When he does not obey God’s message he gets just a little more death with which to hear the next message. He becomes infiltrated with death because of his non-responsive attitude to the call of God.
He hears the Word and says he wants to join in God’s vision and do all that God tells him to do, but then he does not do it. His loyalty goes as far as the deception of his own heart. Then, God again calls him and tells him to go all the way. The person walks out with a renewed confession but not a renewed fellowship with God to follow up that confession with a step of active faith. He hears the call again, but this time it is not as loud. The knock of discipleship is coming less as his conscience is being seared toward truth. Death is infiltrating his mind and destroying his capacity for truth. He hears again now just a faint knock and soon he hears it no more. His heart is hardened. The authority and pride of his own flesh has come ahead of the man of God, the Word of God, the authority of God, the Cross of God, and the message of God.
A reminder from Isaiah 14: A stone is never placed in the temple through its own choice. A man is not mobilized or united with anyone and will never have any specific impact on the world on his own. He is a showcase for what a temple might be if joined with other stones.