Being a Christ Follower is not for the faint of heart.
Yes, He says, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened…For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:28, 30)
And it is, IF, and this is a big IF, you can turn it ALL over to Him in complete trust. And I mean everything.
I don’t know about you, but that’s where I usually start to run into a few snags.
The Part that Is Tricky
Jesus has high standards.
When He says in Mark 1:17, “Come, follow me” it seems to me that he oversimplified things a little.
Perhaps what He meant to say was, “Come, lay aside your personal feelings, your plans, your comfort addiction, your ego, your defensiveness, your safety, your retirement fund, your reputation, your fear and your self-interests. I want all these things. In return, I will make you my disciple.”
I mean that’s what He ultimately meant so, why didn’t He just say so?
I guess He did in His own way.
“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 and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.” Mark 8:34-35 NLT
I’m beginning to understand that Jesus takes things to extremes.
He wants all of us. He wants complete obedience no matter how uncomfortable, undesirable or uneasy it may be.
He doesn’t seem concerned with my short-term convenience or creature comforts. He’s all about my eternal well-being. He’s about making me into His masterpiece and boy, does He have His work cut out for Him!
If I want ALL He has to offer – blessings, joy, contentment, fulfillment, wisdom, etc. – I have to learn to submit to HIS will in ALL things without holding ANYTHING back.
That’s tricky because most of the time I’d rather indulge in a Sunday afternoon nap.
Just to put an exclamation point behind all this, Jesus goes on to say:
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26-27 NIV
He makes it plain. We can’t put anything else before Him – not even our own lives. He took up His cross, so He knows exactly what He’s asking us to do.
He wants complete surrender.
Tricky or not, He will accept nothing less than 100% of what we have to offer.
His cause is simply greater than ours.
What are you holding back? Is it getting in the way of His plan for your life? Are you willing to sacrifice it on the altar before Him?
Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.