|"Do you think I was comfortable when I did this for you?"|
Luke 14:26- 33 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”
I closed my eyes in attempt to drowned out the voice that had been haunting my thoughts all day, but it seemed to only get louder. “Are you my disciple?” It all started the day before when I flipped open my Bible to Luke 14, before long I came to verse 33 and couldn't go on because a question was deposited in my head… “Have I forsaken all?” You might think, “Of course you have honey, you’re a missionary.” I’ll admit sometimes I feel as though I have given up very much…But have I really forsaken all? Things like my earnest hopes, my wildest dreams, my deepest desires, my every thought…Everything? “But my desires are good, probably even Godly!” I tell myself often but the bottom line is, they’re still mine. No, I know in my heart I have not forsaken all of them. The statement is so simple “If you have not forsaken everything you are not my disciple” and to be quite candid, I don’t like the sound of it
My excuses are failing me: Excuse #1
I have always identified myself with “The older brother” in the story of the prodigal son. After all I have never “Ran” from God. I've never had one of those “Rebellious phases” of my life. I've lived a righteous life. Because of this false thinking, I always felt like duty was simply not to judge that little prodigal brother who thinks all these “Sins” are okay, when I don’t, and try not to be so “Righteous around them.” As if living a righteous life had anything to do with living a legalistic one. Because of this, I could excuse my simple, really quite pathetic sins which are CONSIDERABLY smaller than my brothers. But In The last few weeks as I have attempted to surrender every moment to Christ, I found in irony that I am actually the younger brother. By my refusal to obey I spit in my father’s face by saying I want MY LIFE, MY THOUGHTS, MY DREAMS, give them to me! I run from God and His ever present arms of love to indulge in my little sins and pleasures … Only I find them empty and degrading. So, tired and miserable I come back and there He is, waiting with open arms and long awaiting eyes.
Excuse #2 There is this pathetic honesty that we excuse for obedience. I do prefer it when one of my students tell me flat out they don’t’ want to do something, or that they are angry at me, or that they don’t trust me…but I won’t accepted it as obedience. Honesty can become a way of procrastination...We congratulate ourselves for baring our hearts and stop there. I don’t mind saying “I have not surrendered everything to Christ.” because it sounds honest and humble but I cannot say without trembling hands and tears “I am not a disciple of Christ.” When now I am seeing they are inseparable. Oh, God save me!
I tell you all this because at present I am practicing at all to follow Christ.” Taking the practice moment by moment as each new situation arises. Surrendering whatever it is to Him and choosing to live in the Spirit. Choosing to trust Him with everything and then full heartedly plunging into obedience. As a result I have found it the most frustrating yet blissful month…Frustrating because I have failed and honestly choosing the right thing isn’t often what I want to do but when I do surrender and obey there is a deeper peace, heavenly and truly I am more happier than ever.
I am curious what the reaction to this post will be…Maybe identification or maybe pure horror that I am a missionary. You might think “This simple thing of surrendering all she still hasn’t conquered?”…You may be thinking, "This isn’t anything new in the Christian life.” To that I can only say…I know. Only, I am happy that Christ has exposed more of me that I could give to Him. I love Him….I really love Him. I give because I love Him and the more I give the more I love. Sometimes I so full of love I think my fragile little heart could burst. “God show me more where I trust in my flesh, so that I might learn to live in Your Spirit. For in my flesh is only death but in Your Spirit there is life and peace.