Friday, October 16, 2009
The Hardest Command
I certainly do and I feel as though this is the hardest command for me.
No, not love your neighbor, or care for the widow. It is even more daunting than that, at least to me it is.
"...And He said unto him, 'Follow Me.' And he left all, rose up, and followed Him."
-Luke 5:27-28 KJV
This description was about the encounter of Jesus and Matthew (Levi) the tax collector. This is the hardest thing I believe our Lord commanded us to do.
It seems simple indeed, but when you really look at it, it seems to require so much more, yet again it is simplistic in its idea.
Matthew left all to follow Jesus. This ALL isn't a figure of speech. This ALL is everything he had, owned, desired, everything and everyone he had ever known. That is what makes this so hard. Sure it seems easy to leave it all behind and follow someone you never knew and we assume its easier because we know the stories of the Gospels but think about it for a minute.
How great a sacrifice was this for men, the disciples, to do? Matthew was no doubt paid well enough by the Romans to eat and have a roof over his head. He had a job, family, friends. Yet in one moment in his life he left it all behind to follow a stranger. Amazing!
Simon Peter too in verse 11 of this chapter also followed suit in leaving everything to follow Jesus. What faith and strength!
In today's day and age we have great possesions. Thanks to Facebook and MySpace we have more friends than Tila Tequilla. Money, homes, cars, we have it all. Yet Christ is calling us similarly as he called his disciples, "Follow Me."
How many of us have answered this call? I know I have not fully embraced this. I marvel at the thought of giving it all away. Things I have worked so hard for. The career path I have embarked on. My family, friends and day to day happenings. All left behind because he calls me.
I have left friendships, time with my wife and family, even time spent with my job to pursue ministry at our church, yet I have not left everything to follow HIm. Maybe I am missing the true nature of this statement?
All I know is I am trying to pursue Him where he calls but giving it all away to follow Him I have not done. Maybe there is hope for a confused guy like me. Maybe its the willingness when he calls to leave it all. When he calls me to High School Ministry at our church, do I forgo business trips, family dinners, Raiders games (I hope you continue to read on after you discovered I was a Raider fan, please forgive me, I am a sinner!)? I have to answer that with a sometimes. Business trips seems to be the hardest thing. I do not receive a salary for my work with the church so it is hard for me to justify in my tiny brain missing out on mandatory meetings to serve in the ministry. But maybe God doesn't desire us to loose our jobs for Him, at least maybe not at this moment.
Know this, no matter how overwhelming this verse is to do, when He calls you (I believe it will be unmistakable He is calling) then be ready to leave it all behind. True He has already called us into relationship with Him and today we pursue to strengthen those ties with Him, but when that call comes to Follow Me be prepared to go where he wants you to go and be willing to sacrifice it all for the sake of the cause, no questions asked.
I pray the Lord strengthen us all when He calls us to have the faith it takes to do what He says. Would we all FOLLOW HIM! AMEN!