Lord, I will follow You, but . . . —Luke 9:61
Suppose God tells you to do something that is an enormous test of your common sense, totally going against it. What will you do? Will you hold back? If you get into the habit of doing something physically, you will do it every time you are tested until you break the habit through sheer determination. And the same is true spiritually. Again and again you will come right up to what Jesus wants, but every time you will turn back at the true point of testing, until you are determined to abandon yourself to God in total surrender. Yet we tend to say, “Yes, but— suppose I do obey God in this matter, what about . . . ?” Or we say, “Yes, I will obey God if what He asks of me doesn’t go against my common sense, but don’t ask me to take a step in the dark.”
Jesus Christ demands the same unrestrained, adventurous spirit in those who have placed their trust in Him that the natural man exhibits. 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. We act like pagans in a crisis— only one out of an entire crowd is daring enough to invest his faith in the character of God.I was thinking on Friday that following Christ is a matter of surrendering. Surrendering a bit of my life. Sometimes in pieces, sometimes as a whole and let Him take over. Perhaps in a western world, the mentality of surrendering is unfavorable when we have a desire to accumulate more and build wealth and security.
When Jesus asked His followers to follow Him, He asked them to surrender their identity, their possessions, all the things they once hold dear to. The fishermen gave up their nets and boat. The tax collector gave up his booth. In some ways, the person is dead. That person no longer exists. Does Jesus offering something better in return? Haha...this must be the selfish mindset at work. Why would I want to give up everything if I am not getting something better in value?
Faith is a funny thing. Faith cannot be develop by what we see or touch. It is invisible. Faith can only comes from trial, adversity and at times as Oswald Chambers said...taking a shot in the dark.
Someone might go to church. Read their Bibles. Do ministry. Tithe. Go to fellowship. Does everything 'right' and still lack the faith to follow Jesus. In the eyes of those who don't believe there is a God or in God, faith is random, foolishness and non-sense. Indeed, why not. If I don't believe in God, why would I believe He is at work.
But for those of us who call ourselves Christians. Faith is essential. And sometimes we run away at adversity. We complain, whine (at worst..I know for me, rant) to God how unfair of the circumstances or situations we are in or those we have to deal with. We pray earnestly for Him to take those painful moments away.
Perhaps these moments are where we build stronger faith by leaning on Him. Just as Oswald describes that once we obey when we risk everything and take the leap of faith, we found His words are true, the relationship with the Divine becomes more real when we decided to lean on to Him.
When the uncertainty comes, when what God calls us to do make no sense, it is not for us to go back. Though, there might be a huge inclination to do so. Instead, we should lean closer to Him. Pursuit the Divine ever more. Meditate to the point where we can taste and feel His peace surround us. Ever as our circumstances crumble beneath us. Our faith will grow abound. And those 'trials' will simply trail away as we delight in His communion.....
One of the traits of a humble servant is not the skills, talents or possessions one accumulate. But rather at any given time, to give up, to surrender and to obey the call of the master.