Luke 9:23 God in Jesus told us, “Anyone who wants to follow Me must put aside his own desires and conveniences and carry his cross with him every day and keep close to Me!”
What does God want from us? He has told us plainly when He made His personal appearance to us and had recorded for us so that all generations could know the will of God for humanity.
How seriously do we take God’s command that we put aside our own desires and conveniences and carry our cross with Him every day? What does this mean anyway? No fun and no pleasure?
The answer to that question is contained in the character and nature of God. God is good, He is merciful, He is gracious, kind and generous. We can consistently be these things to those around us which will make us both happy and satisfied.
All of us have earned enough and purchased enough and experienced enough to know that those things give a very temporary high but leave us discontent with our lives when we focus only on making ourselves happy.
Joy is a by-product of living like God.
Putting aside our desires and conveniences is laying aside our selfish and self-centered ways that never satisfy us anyway. The cross is the symbol of death as well as the means to life.
When we make God’s will and God’s ways our first and greatest priority we begin to experience the abundant life God promised. The deepest satisfaction in our lives occurs when we give the most for the benefit of others.
God also invites us to stay close to Him. He has provided His Word and His Spirit to make this possible for us. Spending time in the Scripture learning about our God then applying what we learn is to know within the pleasure of God. Feeling this pleasure is like the joy our children experience when we show them our appreciation.
God is not mean, boring or harsh. God is love and joy and peace in the Holy Spirit.
If we really want the best life now then we will embrace the cross, the knowing and doing of God’s will, while staying close to Jesus.