Forsaking all means you give up your life. We must crucify our old desires. Put them to death. That means everything, not just a few things we won’t miss. Forsaking all means taking all of our most cherished dreams, possessions, and ideals, and throwing them away. You have to be okay with never revisiting any of those things.
God may redeem some of them and return them to you so He can show you how to use them for His purposes. But there’s no guarantee that will happen. Forsaking all means you don’t expect to recover anything you are releasing. You’re done with them.
Let’s be honest, few are going to do this. Our selfishness and pride will keep us rationalizing why it’s okay to keep some of our desires and ambitions, because that’s how God created us. If they are God-given talents and endeavors, you’ll get them back. But only after you’ve sacrificed them.
Remember Abraham. God promised him the entire world would be blessed through Isaac, the son he and his wife Sarai had in their very old age. Abraham waited years, decades even, for the arrival of his son. The miracle of Isaac would have meant everything to Abraham. And yet, when the boy was still young, God commanded Abraham to sacrifice him. The story makes it clear the Lord never intended to harm the child. He just wanted to see if Abraham really would forsake everything to live in obedience.
Abraham passed his test with flying colors. He held nothing back from God. It didn’t matter how precious his son Isaac was to him. Abraham didn’t concern himself with how God would fulfill His promise if Isaac were to die. He could be confident things would work out fine because he considered nothing to be his own. His dreams, future, possessions, and the things he loved most all belonged to God. There was nothing left of himself, there was only his desire to walk faithfully with the Lord.
I can’t give you an exact breakdown of what forsaking all will look like in your life, but I can offer general ideas based on those things that are common to us all. Examine your days. What is it that gets most of your attention? For many these days, it’s a rectangular glowing piece of plastic that is permanently attached to our hands. Maybe it’s time to recognize our phones have become an idol. Perhaps it’s the friends you keep who pull you away from holy living. It could be your job that has to go. There are things in all our lives that we cling to that bring no glory to God.
What if our only possessions were a Bible and the clothes on our back? How would your life be different if that were the case? What if you had no job and no money? If all you had was Jesus, how then would you live? This is the point we all need to come to. Forsaking all means exactly that. We surrender all and are content to have Jesus and nothing else. I submit most of us have a very long way to go.