In following God, I did not take my cross and was not whole-hearted, because subconciously I received Jesus, but did not receive the suffering which comes with that name. Now, the Father poses the question to me, "Will you drink the cup of suffering that comes with bearing Jesus' name?" He did not ask me to make life hard on myself or to strive to do religious things driven by fear, but to receive the suffering which comes with following Jesus. Instead of opposing it, will I receive it? Will I embrace all that the fasted lifestyle entails and receive the suffering which my flesh endures so that it might find it's greatest fulfillment in Jesus? I've half-heartedly embraced it, but not to the fullest degree yet and I might as well leave it behind and say "No, thanks" to the Lord if I'm not totally going to embrace it. This is a part of the heart of God; that I embrace the suffering which reminds me of my dependence on Him.
We must know that when we say "Yes" to God, we're saying "Yes" to the suffering which inevitably will run along side the pilgrimmage of faith in Jesus. This is part of counting the cost and something God wants us to consider before we say, "Yes." Pray for me, that my answer will be "Yes." to the suffering of Christ in me.