In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple” Luke 14:33.
As Jesus traveled along the region of Perea a great crowd was following. The people were pushing up against each other trying to catch a glimpse…trying to hear His voice…attempting to understand what He was saying to them. He told them that to be one of His disciples they must hate their parents, spouse, children and siblings. He said they must even hate their own life, giving up everything to follow Him. These were tough words with tough implications, but the message was more about surrendering lives than abandoning family. His message was more about warning them of the cost of following Him than commanding them to hate their families.
I wonder how many people inconspicuously snuck away when Jesus got to this part. I wonder if you could feel the excitement in the air change to hesitation and contemplation. Did their stomachs drop at the realization of what was being asked of them? Did some drop their head, turn around and walk away realizing the cost was too great? Are we any better today when we realize God is asking something difficult of us?
What is God asking you to lay down right now in your own life? What is He asking you to abandon in your life so that you can truly follow Him? Are we hating or loving our own will, possessions, and dreams? Are we giving our time and resources to God at all costs? ‘Jesus said that if your response to God’s invitation comes into conflict with your commitment to material possessions and ambitions, there should be no question what you should do. He was saying that your possessions should have no hold upon your life. You ought to be able to part with everything God asks of you. If you possess anything that hinders you from being on mission with God, get rid of it!’ Experiencing God, p. 200. God might never take away the very thing He is asking you to surrender. Many times God will bring us to the place of surrender to test the attitude of our heart and the obedience of our spirit.
“‘Do not lay a hand on the boy,’ he said. ‘Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.’” Genesis 22:12.
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