A little while ago, when a friend of ours was thinking seriously about giving his life to following Jesus, he asked, “What would it cost?”. Oh my! What could we say to such a great question?
Of course, we were delighted to share the joyful truth that following Jesus brings with it the most extraordinary opportunities for living ‘life in all its fullness’ and gives immense fulfilment, purpose, hope and joy. But there are two sides to that very pertinent, costly coin. So, with a deep breath, we also told him that following Jesus costs ‘everything’. It does. It should. We need to surrender everything we are and everything we do and everything we have to Jesus.
As I’ve pondered the fact that following Jesus costs everything, I’ve seen so clearly that giving up everything for Jesus truly means gaining everything, everything in the whole world. The reality of life in this broken world is that we’re all slaves to something, and anything other than God is far too fragile to sustain us. Christianity is not about saying ‘no’ to stuff and restricting our freedom. It’s about giving us freedom, and life in all its fullness.
Every impulse, every priority, and every moment in our lives finds its orientation somewhere and hence we’re all slaves to something. I see the sorrow and tragedy of a world that is enslaved to a billion things which can never be truly sufficient and which, in reality, bring more chaos and fragility to us.
If we’re not enslaved to Jesus, who created us and knows us intimately and loves us unconditionally, then we’re slaves to everyone’s opinion, and the social vagaries that chop and change with the prevailing micro-moment of media championing or vilification. We’re slaves to whatever our particular culture and time and place in the world tells us will satisfy us.
How much more freeing and healthier and whole it is be given over to Jesus, to have Him as our beginning and our end, our wholehearted desire, our only goal and our dearest love. Then (and only then) are we actually truly free. We are free from every other idol that was never designed to carry the awesome weight of our very selves. We’re free to be who we’re made to be. We belong to God. We’re free to be His. What liberation! What joy!
Prayer: Father God, thank You so, so much that You made me and know me even better than I know myself. Thank You that You are good, and You love me enormously and that You want only what is good for me. Thank You that You created me for a life of fullness and fruitfulness. Please Lord, help me today to see how to live in the details of my day that orientate my life to You. I am Yours. Everything I am and do and have is Yours. Please give me the wisdom to live today as if that is true and thank You for the joy and freedom that will fill my life as I do that. Amen.
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