Every believer must determine with his own free volition to take up his cross on a daily basis. He must count the cost, he must deny himself, and he must follow Jesus Christ in a continuous, deliberate act of laying down his life. “I beseech you therefore, brethren by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
The cross is God’s provision for my life. I deny myself every day of my life. I know very well what I am doing. The cross, mentally and emotionally, is something I take up deliberately every day.
If we could see what God sees in our behavior, we would realize that the reason we have human provocations and confusions is because we have failed to take up our cross. Often, we think that trials are the cross, as they are sent by God to cause us to grow. This is not the biblical definition. The cross is not represented by difficulty, it is something we take up voluntarily, in the same manner that Jesus took up His cross in obedience to the Heavenly Father.