When I first became a Christian, I was introduced to George Whitfield (a 18th century reformed preacher) and St Francis. So my theology and perspective of the Life became worship (from the Reformed influence) and the practice of the cross (from Francis).
What do I mean by the practice of the cross. Let me give an example. When I was about 25, I was going to seminary and working a night job and working a little at church. I read the sayings of Jesus on "selling all your possessions and making treasures in heaven". Was I to take this seriously. I took the passages that said "you are saved by grace through faith' very seriously. So what was a poor boy to do? Well, I decided I should obey. So gave away most all I had and then took my car (which my parents owned) and brought it back to my parents. As I rode the bus home from La Crescenta to Anaheim, I had to go through Downtown L.A. For the next two or three years or more, I was a bus rider. I started a Christian discipleship home and I was never so happy in my life. I knew by name almost every homeless person in Orange County and for many years people would come up to me on the street and tell me how they have gotten their life together.
As I think of those years, I realize I have lost that practice of total surrender in my life. It is very hard, being married and having a career of sorts to live "out of control" trusting in the Lord for everything. This is the Cross: forgive always, love always and commend your spirit to the care of the Father. Live on nothing but the approval of the Father and intimacy with God. Lord, I desire to be able to say, "You are my portion in this life". In this life, I have nothing but the Lord. But I do not feel I can say that today and truly, honestly "KNOW" what I am talking about.
It may not mean exactly selling all our possessions per se, but it has to in love the same trust and the same faith. It is helpful to our intimacy to put our lives in a place where we actually depend on God. Then, we will know what it means to practice the cross.