Skip to main content

Leave the Good Behind

{Matthew 8:21; 22}
Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”

Keeping in mind what Jesus said to this disciple who wanted to wait, consider what Erwin McManus wrote in Wide Awake:
I wonder if for many of us, the only thing stopping us from living the life God created us to live—the life of our dreams—is to let go of a life so good that it betrays the great. Are we willing to give up all the things we have right now to be able to obtain that which God longs for us tomorrow? (p. 106)

What stopped this potential disciple from following Jesus was not something evil, but something that was good (showing respect to his father). Yet, that decision kept him from experiencing the life God longed for the would be disciple to live.

I believe that same is true for us. Many times we are not held back by sin or addiction, but by good things. “I will give more my income God, but first let me get out of debt.” Or, “Lord, I will serve more once the kids are out of the house.” Or, "Lord, I will learn to trust You, but let me enjoy this relationship." Over and over again we find excuses on why we cannot follow Jesus exactly the way He wants us to.

Part of what Jesus told this disciple is that when we follow Him, these good things in life will work themselves out. His father will get buried if he is there or not. So the lesson we should take away is that we can give and still pay off our debt, it will take some discipline, but it can be done. We can still serve while working and raising a family, it will require priorities and schedule, but it can be done. If we delay gratification and work on our relationship with God before pursuing a relationship, God will get us to where He wants us to be. How much of life are we missing out on because we are not willing to trust God and follow Jesus in every area of our lives?

Following Jesus is difficult. It requires us to make some tough choices that will make us look, and at times feel, crazy. It requires us to give up the security of what we know for the future that we don’t know. It requires us to step out in faith even when no one else will come with us. That is what is required to live the life God created us to live, the life that we truly long to live.

It is very easy to get distracted and to allow our lives to be consumed by good things, but if Jesus calls us to give them up we have to be ready to leave them behind. Is there anything holding you back from fully following Jesus? If Jesus is truly Lord of your life the only thing you can do is lay it down and follow Him. No questions, no whining, just do it. The life you were created to live is waiting on the other side.

  • Point to Ponder: The good in life often holds us back from experiencing the life God created us to live.
  • Passage to Remember: Matthew 8:21-22
  • Prayer to Pray: Heavenly Father, Thank You for this life you have given me. You know my struggle to leave what I know behind and follow Jesus. I ask that You will give me the courage I need to live a life of faith, following Jesus every step of the way, regardless of the cost.


Rick D. said…
I saw Erwin speak at Willow Creek church a few years back. He led into his talk about leaders by giving this as a prologue: You know how some leaders are like eagles? They soar high, they make it look effortless. Others are like hawks - they fly a little lower, they still have a great view, then they dart down, hit their prey and get back to altitude. Me? I'm like a bat out of hell - half deaf, half blind, and I don't always know where I'm going, but I know where I came from and I'm not going back!

I like his work, needless to say :)

Popular posts from this blog

Prayer: Married Bedtime Prayer

My wife Jenny and I have been using the Bedtime Prayer that John Eldredge wrote for Walking with God as part of our bedtime routine.  As much as I have enjoyed the prayer I thought it was time for a prayer that was better suited to pray together.  Hopefully this will encourage you to implement prayer into your bedtime routine.

Our Father in Heaven, we pause at the end of this day to say thank You.  We give You thanks for the blessing of life, for the blessing of each other, for the blessing of family, and for the blessing of a home. You have richly blessed our lives. Restore us Father to Your Son Jesus.  He is the vine and we are the branches and He has become our source of life.  Open our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit's guidance, healing, and transformation.  May our lives and our marriage bear the fruit of the Spirit.  We surrender our lives and our marriage to You.  You have our bodies, possessions, and spirits; we give You our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.  We belon…

God Uses Unlikely People

One of the things that strike me about God is that the value society has given to people makes no difference to Him. In fact it seems that God would rather use the common, even the despised, people of the world to make a difference in this world. Consider Moses. God doesn’t use Moses when he is a prince of Egypt, but when he is a nomadic shepherd. Certainly God has used the rich and the powerful, but more often than not God has used the poor, sinful, and abused. God uses the unlikeliest people.

This reality comes our loud and clear at Christmas time. Think about the major characters of the Christmas story: Joseph who is a poor and scandalize carpenter, Mary who is a young and scandalized girl, Shepherds who are a bunch of untrustworthy characters. Only the Magi have credibility in society, but this diminishes in Jewish culture since these men were Gentiles. The most important event in the history of the world and God chooses people who are rejected and wouldn’t be believed by so…

Worship is a Lifestyle

"It's a lot easier to sing a song than it is to stop and touch the broken. It's a lot less taxing to go to church than to take 'church' to the world. But sharing with others is a sacrifice of worship that makes God smile." ~ Louie Giglio; The Air I Breathe

Worship isn't just about music. Worship isn't just an activity that is planned and programmed. Worship is about glorifying God with our lives. When we seek to honor God, we worship Him.

Worship happens anytime and anyplace. It happens Sunday mornings at church. It happens Wednesday night at Bible Study. It happens when we chat with our neighbor. It happens when we serve those in need. It happens when we show love to the lonely. Worship is what being a Christian is all about.

Worship is a life lived in response to God's gracious blessings. God has given us so much. We owe Him every breath we breathe. He is responsible for our talents we use. God has given us blessing after blessing. Only a life o…