“Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.’” – Luke 9:23
Bertha Smith was a missionary to China during the days of the great Shantung Revival. Through her experiences with God in those days she became a very straightforward and outspoken proponent of holiness and absolute surrender of self to God.
Several years ago, while attending a Bible conference in my hometown, I overheard a conversation she was having with a local pastor. The pastor said, “Miss Bertha, I would give anything to have your faith.” To this Miss Bertha responded in her characteristic candor, “No you wouldn’t bother, for you would have such faith if you were will to pay the price!”
The only way to have the peace and power of the Christian experience is to cast your life at the feet of Jesus and on His truth. We cannot have peace and power merely by giving intellectual assent to statements of doctrine; we cannot have them by becoming learned in theology. We can only have them by casting our life on Christ, and by ordering our affairs on the principles which Jesus taught.
That is not easy. Letting go of our lives never is. In our mixed up culture of loving things and using people the pressure to conform to our culture leaves many empty and frustrated.
Casting our lives on Jesus is a great adventure that will cost much, but in no other way can we have the experience which does bring peace and power. Only then can we fully know what Paul described as “union with Christ.”