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The Princess Syndrome (2 of 6)

Mike Connell

Page 7 of 10
And take up the cross. Now here's the interesting thing, what does it mean take up the cross? Well you don't have to take up Jesus' cross, He's already done the dying on the cross for sin. You don't have to go to the cross for sins, or anything like that, but what does it mean to take up the cross? Very simply, it means doing what God requires of you, regardless of what people say or think, or what you feel. Better run that one by you again. Take up your cross - the cross was the instrument of death, so when you took up your cross you were on your way to death, on your way to the gallows. Now here's the thing. The gallows was a horribly painful unpleasant thing; and not only that, people looked at you, stared at you and ridiculed you, so that kind of gives you the picture, why He used the word cross.

So what He's really saying is: you need to make decisions; and it's take up your cross daily Paul adds, one of the gospel writers adds. It's a daily decision, that I'll do what God is calling me to do; I'll follow what He's calling me to do, regardless of what people say, or think, or how I feel, or if it inconveniences me - I will still do it. I'll do what God wants me - so you notice the perspective is thinking: what God is wanting for me. It's a heaven perspective, it's a thinking about how I work in this situation, what is the spirit of God saying for me to do. What is the word of God saying for me to do? It takes away a lot of guess work, just: God, what do you want in this situation? Lord, I'm really happy to do that, and follow Me, follow Me means that I walk in the same spirit that Jesus did, and I follow the same leadings He did. He was led by the Holy Spirit. I need to follow Him, so that means I keep my eyes on Him, not on what people are doing.

Interesting Peter said: hey, what about this disciple over here? John, what about him? What's going to happen to him? And he's all het up about what's going - he knows he's going to die - so he goes: what about this guy here, you know? Jesus said: if he lives forever, what's that to you? You follow Me. In other words, mind your business about what God's doing in someone else's life. You just follow Me. Mind your business. Don't worry about what God's doing with someone else - you just make sure you're following. Don't worry about what this one's doing this, this one's doing that. No, no, no, no, mind your business, stick with what God called you to do. Even Paul wrote, and said: study to mind your own business, it's a good - tell someone, mind your own business. Good idea isn't it? There's even an accounting program, isn't there Bruce, on that one: Mind Your Own Business? [Laughs] So if you're going to follow the Lord, what it'll require, is you adopt a lifestyle of saying: I'm here to give what I can, even if it's little I'll give what I can. Two, it'll mean at times, it's not comfortable for me, it's painful for me, or difficult for me, if people don't agree; but I've got my eyes fixed on Jesus. That's all it is. Just for a simple example, I'll give you two simple examples, that just show you how simple this thing works out; just keeping in mind: deny self, take up your cross, follow Jesus, okay?

Here's the first issue. Someone upsets you. That's pretty common isn't it? [Laughter] They upset you because of your pride. You become offended and hurt; so deny self. I need to deal with the pride, and the offence, and the hurt, and I need to bring resolution to it. Stop focussing on me, what about me, give me, you owe me an apology, give me, give me. I need to actually realise, something's happened, it's set me back. It's not what I expected, or what I hoped for, it's knocked me around a bit; but here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to actually deal with this thing, very quickly. Instead of demanding my rights, I'll surrender my rights; and think: yes, they have offended me. What can I put into this to improve the situation? Most people want to go there: well I'm going to see them, I'm going to get there, and their nose is flaring, and their eyes are out there bulging, and their highly set up - I'm going to tell them what's what! Good on you mate, you know? They're not walking after Jesus, that's for sure; and you'll end up with the pigs, like everyone else does, who follows that path. It doesn't go anywhere. It ends up in destruction. What you need to decide is: yes, actually what's happened is not good. However what can I give in to this, that could improve or change the situation? You understand, just the change in thinking?