That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:10-11).
The cross has lost its power in American Christianity, and we need the cross applied to our lives today more than ever! The cross directly speaks to each believer of the need to put to death self-will and self interest, and put God’s Word and God’s will first place in every endeavor of life.
The power of the cross must be applied to our home and family life; in our marriages and in our relationships with our children. If not, then demonic forces can easily come in and rob us of the best that God has for our lives.
We must also apply the cross of Jesus to personal life every day. Without death to the world, the flesh, and to selfish desires, we’ll be a prey for the enemy to come in and rob and steal and kill.
The cross is a place of death. For us, the cross represents a place of death to our old habits, desires, and ways of living. The cross to us is a place of separation from being ruled by carnal desires, motives, thoughts, and responses. From the cross applied to our lives daily comes the resurrection life and the abiding power of God.
So many want the “anointing” of the Holy Spirit and the power of God, but not the cross. And there is no spiritual power without the cross! Through His cross, His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus obtained power over Satan and his forces. Satan is now a dethroned ruler. He has taken the authority the God vested in Adam at creation due to Adam’s sin. He has authority over the masses of the unsaved worldwide. Only Christians have authority over him, but most abdicate their authority by their refusing to take their flesh and stubborn human will to the cross.
The principalities and powers of darkness deeply resent Jesus defeating them and giving authority over them to the church! So they seek to undermine that authority by tempting believers to forsake the cross, the place of death to their flesh and stubborn will. And when Christians yield to the flesh, they lose their heritage of spiritual authority, and give Satan an inroad to defeat them.
Just as Esau relinquished his birthright to his appetite, believers can relinquish their authority by refusal to die daily, that is, to put the flesh under control of their spirit. It’s worth the small price you pay to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus. The end result is peace, and real resurrection power over the tauntings of the flesh and over Satan and his forces.
If you’re not willing to die, you’ll be a weak, vacillating, flesh dominated, Satan pleasing believer! Let’s determine today to bear our personal cross for the glory of God. Take some time today to commit yourself to the cross! For to live in power, you must die!