What do you do when Jesus says, “Follow me”? His command is quite literal, but most of us live our lives unwittingly telling Jesus to follow us. “Lord, follow me while I buy a new house or pursue this business venture or plan this vacation. Protect me from making a bad decision. Catch me when I fall. And thank you so much for blessing me.” It is the way I’ve lived most of my life, not wanting to truly believe that He requires me to give up everything.
The problem is we forget God is sovereign, and truly we think we are, not so much in a conscious way, but we think we are in control. As a result, we take on all kinds of stress by trying to make our lives work according to the standards of our culture. The Lord brought the following verses to mind in rapid succession this morning:
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:14-15.
You are not your own; you were bought with a price. I Corinthians 6:19-20.
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “No one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come, eternal life.” Luke 18:29-30.
So teach us to number our days, that we may present to you a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12.
Giving up everything means giving up control. It means holding things loosely. It means living with a kingdom mindset, meaning everything belongs to God, including our very lives, and is to be used for His purposes and His glory. It means simply trusting Him and believing Him when He says He will take care of us.
One week from today we will be moving into a duplex in Hewitt, Texas, just outside of Waco. Our house has not sold yet. Our children and grandchildren are all here in Conway or Little Rock, except for one daughter in school in Memphis.
Our friends are here. Our ministry was birthed here. We are trusting God for our very provision, because Jesus has said, “Follow me here.” If we had the slightest doubt, we wouldn’t be going. But He has given us loads of confirmation, so much that not to go would be disobedience.
These words by Oswald Chambers describe it best:
“If a person is ever going to do anything worthwhile, there will be times when he must risk everything by his leap in the dark. In the spiritual realm, Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold on to or believe through common sense, and leap by faith into what He says. Once you obey, you will immediately find that what He says is as solidly consistent as common sense.
By the test of common sense, Jesus Christ’s statements may seem mad, but when you test them by the trial of faith, your findings will fill your spirit with the awesome fact that they are the very words of God. Trust completely in God, and when He brings you to a new opportunity of adventure, offering it to you, see that you take it.” Excerpt From: Chambers, Oswald. “My Utmost for His Highest, Enhanced Edition,” May 30.
Jesus, the time has come. Faith for the journey-that’s all I ask. Thank you for trusting Mark and me with this assignment. You have blessed us so much already. I can hear the words to Misty Edwards’ song in my head right now, “The point of life is you.” (Forerunner Music, International House of Prayer.) Have your way, Lord Jesus. We love you. Amen.
Here is an interview with Misty Edwards you will enjoy: http://www.cbn.com/tv/2286453678001
Not that I have already obtained all this or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14.