For many years I held on to people, places, and things…many of which the devil used against me at the “right” moments to derail me emotionally, mentally, and physically. Even though I was mostly always doing what people considered to be the right thing, the baggage that I carried kept me from being able to truly take up my cross and follow Christ in an effective, consistent, and meaningful way. I had made these things and people my god of the time, the sources of all my true focus and energy and attention and capacity. It never failed that I’d eat disappointment, run to God the Father for a new dose of grace and mercy and a reset, the ? Back to worshipping whatever new distraction caught my eye.
Sound familiar, huh?
In the parable of the rich man, Jesus commanded a young man to sell all he had, give it away, and follow Him. The young man wasn’t able to see the value of letting go and sadly walked away from what could have been a great encounter with Christ. Instead he chose to not let go of the things that weighed him down, fearing that what he lost would be greater than what he gained. Jesus took this opportunity to share with us that when we are able to let go of our most valuable things in HIs name:-family, friends, fields-we would receive double in THIS life time even as we experience persecution…and in the age to come, eternal life. (Mark 10:29-31).
The word of God says that we are to love the Lord our God with all of ourselves, mind, body, soul, might, heart…whatever makes you ought to be given over to God. Why? Because I’m doing so, you are guaranteeing the very things written for you in God’s thoughts about you, the desires that HE penned into you heart that make up the sun total of His plans to prosper you and not harm you, to do exceedingly and abundantly above all you could ask, think, or imagine. But you can only pick that up by lying down what you already have.
And not just what is in your hand, but what is in your heart.
“Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.”Luke 17:33 KJV
I am learning not to worry when people leave me, forsake me, turn away from me. I am learning to lean more deeply on Christ when those I think ought to support me or people I wish would treat me differently don’t. I am learning to count it all joy whenever I lose things or have to give up stuff now. I know that when I lose anything in my pursuit of a relationship with my Heavenly Father, then I will receive what God has for me which is far greater than anything that this world could ever offer me.