What Does it Take?

    What does it mean to be a Soldier of The Cross?

     First, there has to be an agreement with God that we are engaged in spiritual warfare.   Secondly, there has to be a response to His call to take up The Cross and Follow Him.

     What does that mean?

     It means a daily walk that consciously and affirmatively ackowledges the beauty of the death of the flesh. 
     It means the recognition that you are not of this world, and that your Home is in Eternity with Him.  
     It means the submission of your knowing nothing and His knowing all.

     Soldier of The Cross,  there is nothing else.  How foolish is it that we so often writhe and whine about things that are not in line with His Word?

     Consider His Word:

     There is not one word about you owning your own home;       
     There is  not one word about you being understood by all and avoiding slander;
     There is not one word about your having financial security oustide of His Promise to provide.  Are you avoiding faith?

     Are you avialable to live by faith?  Or must you see it all in advance.

     Is there a real Sabbath Rest as indicated in Hebrews 4, or is it just a myth?

     Oh, Soldier, give in to Peace.  Give in to the One who holds the stars in place.   Agree with God.

     Ask Him what it means to take up The Cross and follow after Him.

     Ask him now - aloud. 
     Right  now.


What is Normal?

     Soldier of The Cross, there is nothing in God's Word that indicates what your life should be like in terms of what others consider to be normal.

     All you know is that you are to be a Living Sacrifice, and that when you take up The Cross and follow Him, it is an adventure into the frontier of transformation and submission.

     Others have no idea what is going on inside you.   They can only interpret what they see based on their own experience,  and often the best of intentions are aimed at slowing down your walk of faith.

     Once more.  This world is not our home.  We are not from here.    

     Stop trying to be from here.

     We are His and we are not our own.   Oh, soldier, please, pleaese memorize God's Word.  Even if you don't remember it in a few hours, the Lord Jesus wil be so much more real to you, and the Holy Spirit more audible if you will only absorb His Word.  Even one or two sentences from your quiet time reading.

     There cannot be passivity.    What is normal?   Hanging out?   Dealing with the immediate all the time?

     Time is pasing and millions are without Christ.  Start with the person next door.  Your chidlren.  Your husband.  Minister.  Minister.  Minister.

     Oh, Soldier, do not put your roots down here.    Invest in eternity.  It's the only way you have wisdom to see the things right in front of you.   It's the only way to live.

     Take it up with Him.  Aloud


The Cost:

     So, Soldier, what is your bottom line?

     How much are you willing to pay for His Presence?

      Wiling to give up what others think?
      Willing to give up money?
      Willing to give up position?
      Wiling to let go of children if He asks?

     Is there something He cannot have?

     Let Him know, and do it asap.

     Aloud.  Right  now.



The Way He Works:

     Although He is The Rock of Ages, and although He never changes,  He does not do things the way we expect.


     Soldier of The Cross, is it beautiful to you to be dead to the world and alive unto Christ?

     What about Romans 12, and agreeing with God to be a Living Sacrifice?

     You can't have it both ways.  You are either a Soldier of The Cross and are submitting to the surgical knife of the Lover of Your Soul, or you are  desperate for predictability and for things to go as you think they should.

     No Living Sacrifice has a fit of pique while lying on the alter.  
     No Living Sacrifice is going to make demands to the Lord.  
     No Living Sacrifice is going to have a tight fist around a list of issues that must be resolved now.

    So, are you yours or are you His?

     Tell Him today.  Aloud.


The Cross:

     There is a popular form of Christianity today that promotes the Christian experience and wants the Believer to feel spiritual and powerful.

          The Bible does not teach us to live a Christian life of feeling or spiritualized experiences.  The Bible teaches me to take up The Cross and follow hard after Him.

     Of course we are beings with feelings.  This is not to imply that maturity equals immunity to feeling, or that experienceing Him is a weakness. 

     The Cross is the place of the death of the flesh.  The Cross is the place where the Believer longs to learn to be a Living Sacrifice.   There must be the affirmative act of daily telling the Lord He can do anything He wants to with ort lives.  The Cross is where we see Jesus.

     The Soldier of The Cross has decided the Lord is His life and He wants to be like Him.

     Those who are following after Him are those who want to be changed.   They do experience Him, but not in such a way as it often taught.

     One who wants to be a Livoing Sacrifice is not going to feel powerful.  The Power may flow through him or her, but  wanting to feel powerful is a seduction the enemy uses.

    Soldier, we keep our eyes on him.  We must about Him.  Memorize His Word.  Seek out those who crave and follow Him.

     We pray to learn to lay our lives down for the Brethren.

     It's not about how I feel.  It's about Obedience and learning to recognize and follow Him.  It's about others.

     Tell Him you are available to His Way.
     Today.  Aloud.
     He hears and He answers.







Closed Doors:

     Lord, I want to deliberately  and affirmatively thank you for the doors you have closed.

     I have tried so hard to do the things from which you have protected me. 
As I look back, I see you have sheltered me from paths that would have led away from Life.

     Again this morning, Oh, Lord, I yield to you completely and ask that you do anything in the deepest places of my heart, to change me into your likeness.

     My Lord and my God.


Always Something:

     There is always something.

     It's natural to crave calm and even scramble for calm when things are awry, when someone misbehaves, or when there is illness.  The soul screams for truth and justice when there is false accusation or misunderstanding.  It is like an invisible infection when a child is self-destructive.

     The natural thing is to writhe and buy into the illusion that there can be no peace until there is calm all around.

     It is supernatural to live and walk in the Sabbath Rest.

      For the one who has once entered His rest has also rested from [the  weariness and pain of] his [human] labors, just as God rested from [those labors uniquely] His own. Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], so that no one will fall by following the same example of disobedience [as those who died in the wilderness].

       Hebrews 4: 10-11 (Amplified)

     Satan is a drama queen.  He loves to get things stirred up, and  we are remarkably quick to rush in and try to fix everything.   If we can't fix it, we have to rehash the problem over and over either aloud or in thought.

     The earth is travailing and groaning, waiting for His coming.  Until He reigns on this earth,  there will always, always be something standing in the way of circucmstances remaining as we think they should be.

     The Soldier of The Cross who enters the Sabbath Rest is the one who determines in prayer he or she will be a Psalm 91 Soldier and dwell in the Secret Place of The Most High.  There, that Soldier is an observer only.

     It's true.   There is a Place to experience His Shelter.  The doorway is obedient prayer and the desire to look up, rather than agonizing over all things around.

     Tell Him.    Walk in the Light. 
     Tell Him aloud.


     We who are His must govern our thoughts according to His Word.

     What is dread?  It the negative  fantasy of the thing that has not happened.  We are so sure we know how it will go.  We can hear the words.  We can feel the pain.  It has happened so many times.  Or perhaps it has never happened, and this is the unknown.

     Soldier, remember the children's chorus?

         My Lord know the way thru the wilderness -
         All I have to do is follow;
         My Lord knows the way thru the wilderness -
         All I have to do is follow.
         Strength for today is mine all the way,
         And all I need for tomorrow;
         My Lord knows the way thru the wilderness -
         All I have to do is follow.

     Is it true or not?  Has He promised to lead us through even the Valley of the Shadow of Death?

     The battle is in the mind, which wants to go over and over and over what might happen.

     Soldier of The Cross,  live for Him today.  Tomorrow is another today.    We never have to live in tomorrows.

     Underneath are the Everlasting Arms.  Run to Him now.


Allowing Him to do What He Wills:

     Flame of God,  by Amy Carmichael:


     From prayer that asks that I may be
     Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
     From fearing when I should aspire,
     From faltering when I should climb higher
     From silken self, O Captain, free
     Thy soldier who would follow Thee.

     From subtle love of softening things,
     From easy choices, weakenings,
     (Not thus are spirits fortified,
     Not this way went the Crucified)
     From all that dims Thy Calvary
     O Lamb of God, deliver me.

     Give me the love that leads the way,
     The faith that nothing can dismay
     The hope no disappointments tire,
     The passion that will burn like fire;
     Let me not sink to be a clod;
     Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God


He Understands:

     We sometimes pray as though He doesn't understand.


     Remember, He is gracious. He who is our Advocate has tasted the gambit of human pain, sorrow  and fear.


     Soldier of The Cross,  He eagerly welcomes your prayer.  He is a Listener beyond description.  And, He has made a Place for you that will lift you beyond all agony, into his Presence forever.


     It's just that we have to take His Word for it.  Whatever He allows now is in preparation for our eternal delight and Victory.


     Pray in trust, not distrust.
     Aloud.  Today.