Aren’t we sort of obsessed nowadays with avoiding waste? We don’t want to waste time, water, money, fuel, electricity, etc.
But, what about our souls? Are we concerned enough about them?
Jesus Wants Us to Surrender
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” Matthew 16:24-26 NLT
Jesus is in the business of rescuing people to bring glory to God. He weeps over even one wasted soul. To redeem our souls, we must follow Him out of danger.
Imagine you are lost in the woods and a park ranger shows up to lead you to safety. However, you stubbornly refuse to let him escort you home. You insist on continuing down the path that got you lost. Does this seem like the best move?
This is often what I do with Jesus. I cling to my life. I want to do things my way (i.e. the selfish way). However, He plainly says, if I hang on to my life, I will lose it.
He wants me to give up all my old ways. He wants me to let go and surrender everything. Copying Jesus is a NEW way of living. A way that is so completely different than what I’m used to that it feels like I’m losing my life to do it. In fact, He compares it to being born again.
The Reward He Offers
Just like with the park ranger, I need to let go of my opinion on which direction to travel and follow him. If I do, I will soon be rewarded. I’ll get to go home. I’ll be reunited with my family. I’ll be secure and out of danger. I will no longer be lost. My anxiety will disappear.
Jesus said, “If you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” When He says life, He’s referring to my way of doing things. I need to let go of my way. By default, my ways conform to the patterns of this world. Jesus wants to radically transform me. So much so, that I will be like a whole new creature (see 2 Cor 5:17).
I don’t want my soul to go to waste. I want to let go and copy Jesus.