Caught up in the spirit during prayer, I saw a road in the spirit—a pathway. As I kept on looking, I noticed something curious. Crosses were lying on the ground. One after another, I saw crosses strewn along this narrow path.
Just then, the Holy Spirit gave me an interpretation about what I was seeing. These crosses were abandoned. Believers who were once on fire for God left their crosses behind when the pressure to be conformed into the image of Christ was too great. Instead of clinging to Him and casting their cares, they cast their cross and turned back to nominal Christianity—or no Christianity at all.
I was shocked as I kept on looking. I saw cross after cross after cross. It almost looks like a graveyard, except instead of death to self, these abandoned crosses represented those who died to their highest calling.
These crosses belonged to people who started down the path to self-denial. These crosses belonged to people who started down the road to the knowledge of the holy. These crosses belonged to people who started down the lane of life—that narrow road that's constricted by pressure—and when that pressure became too great, when the cost became too much, they abandoned the cross and turned back.
I am reminded of Christ's words in Matthew 16:24-27 (AMPC):
"If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also].
"For whoever is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his comfort and security here] shall lose it [eternal life]; and whoever loses his life [his comfort and security here] for My sake shall find it [life everlasting].
"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life [his blessed life in the kingdom of God]? Or what would a man give as an exchange for his [blessed] life [in the kingdom of God]?
"For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory (majesty, splendor) of His Father with His angels, and then He will render account and reward every man in accordance with what he has done.
You can't embrace God at the highest levels if you do not embrace the work of the cross—and embrace your own cross. The good news is if you've left your cross on the side of the narrow road, you can still pick it up and follow Christ again.
Jennifer LeClaire is senior leader of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, founder of the Ignite Network and founder of the Awakening Blaze prayer movement. She is author of over 25 books. Find her online at jenniferleclaire.org or email her at email@example.com.
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