Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Are You a Cross-Bearer?

"There will be no crown-wearers in Heaven who were not cross-bearers on earth!" ~Daniel D. Gladu   

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. ~Matthew 16:24-27

Dear Friend,

God does not intend for sin to continue to reign. It will be brought to an end and God will restore His children (those who believe and obey) to the original, sinless state He intended us to be. But, until then we live in a world ruled by the prince of the power of the air. He will entice us to enjoy the pleasures of sin and to dig our roots deep into an earth that will one day be destroyed by fire. He wants us to cling to useless, earthly treasures and engross ourselves in worldly activities that have no eternal value.

Like children, the more of these "things" we have or do the more we want. We heap treasure on top of treasure and run from pleasure to pleasure. We are never gratified or satisfied because we are trying to find a satisfaction that can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ and having a personal relationship with Him.

Like little mice in a maze we run to and fro trying to find our freedom, but in the end we feel trapped and confused because, after all our seeking, we still feel lost -- we still feel there is something we lack.

We feel that if we give in to God we will lose our freedom and individuality, when in reality, we will find our freedom and realize that He has a plan and purpose to use us in a way that fits who we are and it will be far above what we even imagined. 

I'm putting my own little twist on this, but there's a tale of a king who knew of a very special place that, more than anything, he wanted to show to his little daughter, the princess. To get there they had to travel a path through a very dense and kind of scary forest. 

The little girl skipped along with her father, sometimes holding his hand and sometimes letting go to pick up rocks and throw them or from seeing a squirrel or rabbit scurrying by and chasing after them. But, somewhere along the way the little princess saw something very shiny a little ways off the path. She was drawn to it's brilliant light and as she wondered toward it she realized she was no longer on the path and nothing looked familiar any more, but worst of all, she could no longer see her father, the king. She became frightened and called out His name. What was only minutes seemed like hours to the little girl and she would swear it seemed to have gotten much darker since she last saw her father. 

As she continued to call out to her father, he called back, "Here I am child!" She ran and leaped into his arms and said, "Father, I was afraid! Why did you leave me?" and the father replied, "I never left you dear daughter. I was just right over there, but you didn't see me. Why did you leave me?" The daughter replied, "As we were walking, I saw something shiny that caught my eye and I just had to see what it was." "Ah, yes", said the king, "I found the item that got your was nothing more than a broken mirror."

The moral of this story is: The little princess became more obsessed with chasing after what seemed to be something of great value in her eyes and almost missed out on what her father wanted her to see. What he had in store for her was so much more magnificent than a broken mirror. She just couldn't fathom the greatness of what the king had in mind. 

I don't think the original story ever told what the king wanted to show his daughter, but I would like to imagine that it was the most beautiful meadow that anyone had ever seen. It was filled with lush green grass, and beautiful, exotic flowers of every kind and color. There was a crystal clear, bubbling brook running through the meadow and there was the most beautiful view of snow capped mountains in the distance. And the sky, oh the sky, had shades of color and hue that no man could ever paint. Butterflies danced around as deer would come to drink from the brook and all kinds of cute furry wildlife could be seen as well. You could also hear the birds singing sweet songs of contentment that would mesmerize and calm a weary soul. I like to picture this as a place where the king would bring his princess to often. They would laugh and play and then when they were tired they would lay in the grass looking up at the clouds...seeing elephants, and clowns, and rainbows. Many happy days were spent there bringing the father and daughter so much closer together. It would be in the memory of the princess...forever.

If you haven't guessed already, the king is a picture of the Heavenly Father, and we girls who believe and obey, His princess. He asks us to let go of the useless trinkets of this world and grab hold of what He has in store for us. The path we travel with Him may be dark and dreary at times, but where we end up will be worth it for it will be more wonderful than we even imagined. 

The Father wants to show all His princesses, great and mighty things. He wants us to have a relationship with Him that compares to no other. In our darkest hours we can know with assurance that He has our hand and is guiding us to a beautiful place that we can share with Him during difficult times. He will hold our hand and be with us on the mountain tops and in the valleys and then one day on to our permanent home -- a place of peace, love, joy, and rest where we can be with Him forevermore.

For would-be princesses, if you gain the whole world and lose your very soul there will be an eternity of regret. For all eternity you will know that you passed up the splendors of heaven for a broken mirror.

When you think about your gain it makes your cross seem a lot lighter to bear. Just as Christ saw what lie ahead -- the triumph over sin, death, and hell -- the victory for the believer -- the sons and daughters won for the King -- he gladly bore His cross.

Are you a cross-bearer? If you are, you know you're not carrying it alone.

I pray this has been a blessing to you today and that just maybe this will either give you a new perspective on your King or cause you to want to know Him and what He has to offer! If you want to know the King, all you have to do is ask, and I will be glad to show you the path to Him. 

For His Honor & Glory,

The Princess Warrior 

Find me on Facebook @ The Princess Warrior Ministries Page

P.S. As I reread this to make sure I had no errors I broke down in tears. My own daughter has traded the King, all the splendor of heaven, and an eternal life of joy and bliss for a broken mirror. I can barely see through the tears as I write this. I cannot bear the thought of spending an eternity without her and I cannot bear the thought of my princess spending an eternity in hell.

My daughter was raised in a Christian home, but she is now a professing Agnostic. Due to some life circumstances she has chosen to believe that God is uncaring and the Bible untrue and this breaks my heart. So, if you can't think of anyone to pray for, please pray for my daughter. Pray that God will get a hold of her heart and she will heed the Master's call...before it is too late and while you're at it, please pray for me as I battle for my daughter's soul. Thank you so much and may God bless you. ~TPW

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Copyright © 2009 The Princess Warrior Ministries. All articles are copyrighted on the date they are posted, unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. Permission granted for not-for-sale reproduction in exact form including copyright and web address. Other uses require written permission. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are taken from the King James Bible.

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