This is what cross-bearing means: a readiness to die with and for [the King]. It means complete dedication to [the King], even though this dedication costs one his life. It means an act of self-surrender which holds nothing back, not even life itself. It means that my life, my will, my ambitions, my desires, my hopes - all are given to [the King]. It means that I count myself as dead that the King my live and reign in me. Paul expresses the same fundamental thought when he says, "I have been crucified with the King; and it is no longer I who live, but the King who lives in me" (Galatians 2:20).
The taking up of the cross is something which takes place in the depths of the human spirit and is fundamental to one's relationship to [the King]. If I am ready to die for [the King], then my life is not my own, it is his. My life belongs to him together with all that life includes. Cross-bearing involves the question of lordship, rulership, of kingship. [The King] cannot rule my life until I count myself dead, crucified.
There can be only one ruler in my life: self or the King. When I take up my cross and die, [the King] can rule.
- The Gospel of the Kingdom, by George Eldon Ladd, p. 105.