“And as He was setting out on His journey, a man ran up and knelt before Him and asked Him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to Him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your mother and father.” And he said to Him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, lookings a him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful for he had great possessions.” Mark 10:17-22
There were times and still so, when I see things of great importance in my life. When I catch myself holding onto the things, I know I shouldn’t be. When I find myself caught up trying to attain treasures on earth rather than seeking first the Kingdom and storing up treausers there. And it wasn’t and isn’t easy to acknowledge and also let go. But I’ve come to see that it is worth it. Jesus is worth the cost of anything I have to lay down, because He already paid the price for a better life for me to be living. It isn’t that all things are bad, but not everything here on earth is worth not bein wholly the Lords. There were times when it was harder, especially when I knew I had to give up the way I lived my life and the things I became dependant on. But I knew the Lord was asking me to give up those things I was placing above Him, the very things that were becoming idols in my life because He had far greater things for my time and energy…and He was right.
For I believe with the rich young man, it wasn’t necessairly money that was keeping him from entering into the Kingdom but his great dependancy on it. For anything we place in high regards and are not willing to lay down in the Lord asked us to is idolatry.
That might be hard to hear, but I believe the Lord loves us to much for our hearts to be torn in two different directions. For when we idolize something, we place too much of our time, efforts and hearts into serving our passion and desire than we do with the Lord. Whether it be a sport, boyfriend/girlfriend, yourself, or an addiction. If it is something you would not be willing to lay at the feet of Jesus and follow Him if He were to ask, then that may be something to seek the Holy Spirit to help you let go of.
For it is not that the Lord wants to steal away the very things we love, but I believe it is because He desires our hearts to be wholly His and through that, fixed on Him through doing the things we love. For when we ourselves begin to idolize something, we begin to push God out of it, afraid He may take it away. We begin to seek it for selfish gain rather than Kingdom building. For when we are to concetrated on ourselves, we miss seeing what the Father is doing and moving with Him or hearing what He is speaking and obeying.
It is easy to get caught up in what we want. After all we are living in a culture that is focused on us living the best we can, getting the newest toy, or living to please ourselves. We live in a day of age where our apperance is the be all and end all, where how we dress and what others think of us is more important than our character and how God see’s us. We’ve allowed all the worldly ways become our normal and holy and godly living to become weird and unaccepted. We focus to much on what we want, and getting it when we want it rather than in God’s timing.
I am in no way saying this to condem anyone. For I too, must constantly fix my eyes back on the Lord Jesus and seek the Holy Spirit to purify and cleanse me, revealing anything in my heart that I may be idolizing or putting before the Lord.
Why? Because I believe there is no greater thing then to live for the Lord. And there is nothing on earth worth more than Him. I do not want anything to stand in the way of me being able to live wholly for Him. Because all else is meaningless and chasing after the wind.
I do believe the Lord places desires in our hearts and will empower us to reach them, but He wants to be the means in doing so, so we may not boast when achieving them, but God may be glorified when He makes the impossible, possible.
For the young rich man was not being condemed for having money or being wealthy, he chose to walk away because he was not willing to place it at the feet of Jesus and follow Him.
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26-27
Again, when first reading that verse, I would quickly turn the page or read something that was more appleasing and comforting. But soon afterwars, I realized what it meant. Whatever I held to close to my heart, was keeping me from being totally surrendered to the Lord.
Surrenderance. That is what the Lord wants. Hearts yeilded to Him. Lives laid down at His feet that if He were to call them somewhere, or ask something of them, the answer would always be “Yes, Lord.” For when I begin to love myself too much, I’m not willing to step out and be obedient, in fear of what I may look like to others, or what others may think of me. When I love my family too much, I fear being seperated from them or being called somewhere that would mean me not being close to them. For whatever we are not willing to surrender, we are holding onto and that allows the devil a foothold in our life, because it is with those idols we are not looking at Jesus but to the world. When we are not willing to surrender, we are not willing to follow Jesus-as we would rather do what we want. But apart from Jesus is not true life, we are living good rather than the best life we are able to live.
It is not that God is mean, but that He loves us to much for us to want something other than His goodness and perfect will for our lives. He is looking for those who are willing to live for Him and through that let Him work out His perfect and pleasing will through us. Although it may not be easy, it is worth it. Although it is scary, Our God is good and faithful and whatever He calls you to do, He will equip you and prepare the way.
He wants our hearts. Because through our hearts, our lives will be yeilded to Him. And with yeilded lives He can use us exactly where we are to do greater things with Him than we could alone. Through loving Him first above our family, friends and loved one, we will actually love them greater because we will have true love flowing through us for them. For we cannot love great on our own without God who is love. (1 John 4:10). For we have nothing to offer if we do not have Jesus. For with Him, we have true live, and abundant life.
How could we not, just like the disciples, lay it all down and follow Him. For He too is calling you. For He will do greater things than you could imagine, but first you must believe that He is for you and His plans are far greater than your own. It is a daily thing to lay our lives at the feet of Jesus, our dreams and passions, trusting that He who created you, will use them for His glory.
Trust in Him with your dreams, passions and hearts desires. For He is for you, He loves you and longs to be your only God, not to be a backup if your plans don’t work out or competing with your own idols that you may be holding on to tightly. For anything we lay down at the feet of Jesus, He will use for his glory.
“Jesus looked at them and said, :with man it is impossible but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” Peter began to say to him, “See we have left everything and folowed you.”Jesus said, Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not recieve a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters, and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions and in the age to come eternal life.” Mark 10:27-30
I pray that the Lord through the Holy Spirit will reveal anything in your life and heart that you may be holding onto too tightly, just as the rich young ruler. I pray out of His mercy and grace, He will reveal His great love and will to you, that you may grow in the knoweldge of His perfect and pleasing will and through that, hold onto nothing that may keep you from living wholly for Him. May out of His glorious riches He continues to purify and refine you, setting you apart-so you may live a layed down life for Him, in Jesus name amen.
May you persever and no matter how tough it may get and how much you want to hold onto things, I promise you, He is worth it. For He saw you as worth it, worth His life and His love-and only has greater things instore for those who are willing to lay down their possessions here on earth which are perishing, but He is everlasting and has called you into His Kingdom to live abundantly by His riches, here and now. For I can say, nothing I ever left was worth holding onto, compared to the beauty of His love and life I have recieved. Just as Paul acknowledged, I am beginning to see that,
“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ” Philppians 3:8
May you lay it down and follow Him and not miss all He has for you. Just as the disciples laid it down no matter the cost, may you do the same. I pray our eyes are opened to see Jesus as they did and have hearts passionaitly willing to follow Him no matter what.
And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of me.” Immediately they left their nets and follow Him” Matthew 4:19-10