To be a true disciple of Jesus requires us to forsake everything. Nothing can be left on the table. Nothing can remain in our hands. I don’t think most so-called Christians get this. They’ve no doubt heard it, but living it is another matter entirely. And let’s be honest here, we probably don’t do this so well ourselves. I am thankful God looks at the attitude of our hearts over the actions of our hands. He knows we will never attain perfection until we join Him in the next life.
What He looks for, what He longs for in us, is a relentless pursuit of learning to look like Jesus. While never an excuse to fail, as long as we are following God with all our heart, mind, strength, and soul, He will be pleased. Now back to this idea of forsaking everything…
In his devastating classic, “Absolute Surrender”, Andrew Murray writes, “Many Christians think of Jesus as someone who can save them and help them, but they practically deny Him as Master. They think they have a right to have their own will in a thousand things. They speak however they like, do whatever they want to do, and use their property and possessions however they choose. They are pleased with themselves and their lives, and they never stop to consider that they might not have forsaken all for Jesus.” Can you relate? Can you say you have forsaken everything for Christ?
Jesus said if anyone came to him and didn’t hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—even his own life—they couldn’t be His disciple (Luke 14:26). That’s a radical commitment, but it is the commitment Jesus requires of His disciples. We must forsake everything. Jesus went on to say anyone who didn’t say goodbye to their all their possessions could not be His disciple (Luke 14:33). These aren’t newly discovered statements of Jesus. They’ve been recorded for over 2,000 years and we’ve probably read them for a good portion of our lives. They were just easier to ignore. We prefer what we can get from our relationship with Christ than thinking about what it will cost us.
Are you willing to forsake everything? Can you love Jesus so intensely your affection for anyone else looks like abject hatred by comparison? Are you ready to give away everything you possess for the sake of following Jesus? Really? How about right now? Could you give away all you own? Are you willing to sacrifice not just your comfort but even your security?
Jesus said we must forsake everything to follow Him. Those unwilling to forsake everything cannot be His disciples. These are hard words to write and even more difficult to digest. But these are the words of Christ. This is the cost of being His disciple. We must forsake everything. There are no exceptions. Can you do it? Can you forsake everything? This is the call of Jesus to those who would be His disciples. Are you in?