Do you ever wonder why Jesus tells us that we need to take up our cross daily and follow him? I believe it is that we need to be reminded that our life is not our own. That our desires, whether fleshly or otherwise, need to conform to his desires. That we no longer live for ourselves but we take on the mission that Jesus has set out for us. When we take up our cross and follow him, we realize that by doing so, we prove that we belong to him. And as such, Paul reminds us in Galatians 5:24:
"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires."
The verse just prior to this one talks about the fruits of the spirit. And one of the fruits of the spirit is self-control. All the others are things that we are to do, to exude or to practice. But self-control is something that helps us avoid sin. Self-control doesn’t mean willpower. I think it means discipline. The discipline of filling our minds and our hearts with the things of God. The bible tells us to think on heavenly things. And I believe the more that we do, the more our hearts and minds fall in alignment with the Spirit and the more successful we are in crucifying the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires”. We can only accomplish this if we take up our cross daily, if we know that we are not our own, and if we keep in step with the Spirit. As a matter of fact, the very next verse says, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” To keep in step with the Spirit means that we have to be on the same page as him. His page, not ours. So, I encourage you to remember this verse and to make it real in your life. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.