"And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."
Continuing in our discussion of putting Christ above all, we come to Luke 9:23, in which Christ not only commands His people to take up their cross and follow Him, but He also says that we must deny ourselves.
What does it mean to deny one's self? Certainly there are some things that we must have to live, for example food and water. If we deny ourselves of these very vital nutrients, we will die. However, Christ is not prohibiting life giving necessities, but He is commanding that Christians must resist the materialism, philosophies, and sins of the world.
But how can we resist these things when we live in a world in which evil is in our face and sometimes forced down our throats everyday? In order to deny ourselves, we must take up our cross daily to follow Christ. This command does not mean that Christians must live in a commune. We are called to be salt and light in this world. We must stand out, not live in the shadows. This command to deny ourselves and take up our cross means that everyday, we should be ready and committed to follow Christ, regardless of what the world throws in our face. We cannot pick and choose which days we want to follow Christ. Christians must follow and obey Him everyday. Of course there will be times when our old sin nature pokes through, causing us to disobey, but the Lord is faithful and just to forgive us if we repent, which His people are not only commanded to do, but should be willing to do. Christ command in Luke 9:23 means that His people must be willing to go wherever and whenever He desires us to go.