To follow God in this life there's a lot of sacrifices to be made. Some things we even have to give up because in order to follow God completely, we have to give up our own fleshly desires. It's not going to be easy. Will you follow God even if that means giving up your dream job, going to parties with friends, sacrificing your own time to spend with God? Even though some people might think you are strange, we should focus on God more than everything else. "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves, and take up their cross and follow me" Luke 9:23
What are you willing to give up? What are you willing to sacrifice for God? I know that's a lot of big questions. Might even make you feel uncomfortable a little bit talking about it. But sometimes you have to ask yourself and see what you are willing to do. There are a lot of different directions to turn in your life, but you have to be careful to make the right one. But the bible says "Whether you turn to the right or left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying "This is the way; walk in it" Isaiah 30:21
Example. When the disciples went to follow Jesus they had to give up a lot of things like their home and just follow Jesus around everywhere. I'm sure they had times where they wish they could stay home and be in one place, but they knew their hearts desire was to follow Jesus. I know I had to give up a lot of things. Like hanging out with the wrong crowd, giving up my desires, sacrificing my time to spend with God when I didn't feel like it, watching TV etc. When Jesus was here, he had no choice but to give up His life and to follow the will of his Father in heaven. Before He was going to be taken to be put to death, he went to go and pray by himself for a while and he was scared and he cried out "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done" Luke 22:42 Sometimes like Jesus we get frightened into doing God's will and following him no matter the cost but if we do really love God, we would want to give up everything to follow him. For this verse says "Greater love has no one than this; to lay down ones life for one's friend" John 15:13.
When Jesus walked up and carried his cross to be crucified that was him following exactly that verse; "Pick up your cross daily and follow me". He was leaving his old life behind and was trusting that God had a plan because he was following him and giving up everything. For us. How could there be a love greater than that? I know at times you might be scared and uncertain of the things that might happen when following Jesus, we may not always know. But we do know we can trust God because He is a good God and loves us unconditionally and knows us more than we know ourselves. Remember when you go through these things in life Jesus knows how you feel. For he felt them himself. Jesus felt betrayal from the people he loved the most. Jesus was tempted so he knows what its like when you get tempted. Jesus was human just like us so he felt pain, sadness, hunger and lots more. Though he was divine person. He went through it all. So you can count on him to help you through it all.
When Jesus was tempted in the desert, he was willing to give up power, fame and glory, and he trusted His father above. He gave up what all humans wanted, because he knew what God has planned for him in Heaven. His true goal was to live out the Father's will. So when you are tempted in a desert, and you feel alone, will you live out God's amazing plan for you? Or will you worship false things; power, money, fame, our technology, false idols, and false pleasures etc. God is ready to lead you, so pick up the light burden of God. Are you ready to pick your daily cross and be led?
So I guess the question is to this message. Are you willing to "Pick up your cross and follow Jesus?"