Leave It Behind

Contrary to some people’s opinion, a decision to follow Jesus is a decision with a cost. Yes, it is true that Jesus came that we might have the opportunity to experience freedom by His sacrifice. Yes, it is true that Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, died on a cross so that we might have the opportunity to experience the grace, mercy and favor of God. And yes, it is also true that Jesus came into the world that we might be able to experience life and have life more abundantly. But it is also true that like Jesus, we have a cross to bear. We too have a responsibility to sacrifice our own desires, wants, aspirations, and stuff in order to follow Him. In Luke 9:57-62, it makes it very clear that as followers of Christ, we must not be distracted by life and its circumstances.

“As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”  Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Often times in life, we allow people and situations to remove our attention away from the things of God. We allow obstacles or uncomfortable encounters with others to get us off track and disturb our progress. We allow dead (unfruitful) relationships and unproductive people to become the focal point of our time and energy. The fact of the matter is that when we answer “yes” to Jesus, we say “no” to everything else in our lives. Let me be clear - saying “yes” to Jesus does not mean that we don’t still foster strong relationships and help those in need. It does mean, however, that in fostering relationships and helping those in need, we don’t become consumed to the point where we neglect the priorities that Christ has placed in front of us. The reality for many Christians is that when life becomes burdensome, demanding or overwhelming, we either decide to put God on hold or to prioritize people/things over God. The Bible says that one who approaches his or her relationship with God in this way “is not fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

So, what has distracted you from living in the purpose that God has set before you? What is your circumstance that has caused you to be so distracted and not progressing in your walk with the Lord? What issue or situation are you dealing with that has you not focused and unresponsive to the voice of God? Whatever it is or whoever it is, you must leave it behind.