I was recently reading Calvin Miller’s excellent “The Disciplined Life” for a second time and came across a statement that exploded off the page. The author wrote, “To hold anything in our hearts that is contrary to the single-minded call is to split our attention between Jesus and whatever else is calling for first place in our allegiance.”
This is the heart of discipleship.
There is no place in the life of a follower of Christ for anything other than Jesus. A divided kingdom will certainly fall (Mark 3:24), and a divided heart will never find lasting peace or victory. We either solely belong to Jesus or we do not belong to Him at all.
We have allowed the message of Christ to become so watered down we scarcely recognize the weight of its call. Jesus said in order to follow Him, we must leave everything behind (Luke 9:23-24). Christians today profess to follow Jesus but live their lives in pursuit of cultural norms and selfish indulgences. We are missing the heart of Christ. We are neglecting the very things He told us to do. Worst of all, we are allowing ourselves to believe leading this kind of life will end with the salvation of our souls. I submit this is not what Jesus teaches. What Jesus said was we must turn our backs on our friends, families, and homes to follow Him (Luke 14:26-27; Luke 9:61-62; Matthew 8:20). He said we must never look back (Genesis 19:17, 26; Luke 9:62). How many of us are living with such devotion today?
Materialism and busyness have invaded our lives to the point we no longer have time for Jesus. Our thoughts are centered on our work, our home, and our personal and social obligations. Look at your calendar. How much time have you booked to spend time with Jesus? If you are like most, your answer will be zero; but I’ll bet you have time for many other things blocked off. When Jesus isn’t central in your life, you can no longer claim He is the Lord of your life. People from around the world read this blog, so perhaps you are not facing this in your society. But in the United States where I live, this is a very real problem and the results are potentially catastrophic. I believe millions of people who think they know Jesus will die without Him (Matthew 7:21-23; Matthew 25:31-46).
Let me state this plainly because if you study the words of Jesus mentioned in this article, you will see Jesus spoke very clearly about it. If Jesus is Lord of your life, then your life will be focused solely on Him. Everything you do will be for the sake of building His Kingdom. I am not saying we will never mess up. None of us will ever get this totally right. But our heart’s desire must be for Christ and Christ alone. When we fall down, we must repent and quickly begin following in His footsteps again. Our desires must align with His. His mission must become our mission. In this way, you will become the person He created you to be. You will become single-minded and laser focused on Jesus. You will live an extraordinary life both now and forever.