Monday, November 10, 2008

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.

1 comment:

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 :)

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