Follow me. (John 1:43)
There are not nearly as many followers of Christ as there are believers. There is a difference.
When I look at biblical discipleship, the first characteristic is leaving everything. This is found in both the old and new testaments. An encounter with the Lord changed everything for those who beheld Him.
Instead, what too many of us do is bolt Jesus onto to our lives asking Him to inject His virtue into all we have going on. This is not discipleship. It is good business.
Radical faith used to be normal Christianity. Now, it’s almost considered odd and unwise to pursue the King and His kingdom with abandon.
I believe there are two simple reasons.
The first is a lack of genuine encounter with the Lord. Our churches and our daily lives can have more of the authenticity of Jesus, His very Spirit. I think we’re all growing weary of an organized religion and a watered-down witness. A true arresting of the Lord turns a Christian-killer into a slave of Christ and a 40 year, mundane shepherd existence into a nation-delivering machine.
The second is an unwillingness to surrender safety.
I read an interview of a successful businessman. One of the questions posed to him was how much of his wealth was stored away specifically for retirement. He answered “none”. He explained that all of his money was in his businesses. He felt a retirement nest egg would steal precious personal energy from his ventures. Knowing everything he had was on the line kept him 100% in the game.
We all have heard the wisdom of a safety net. I am not writing to detract from a savings plan. But a soft, cushy chair usually invites a nap, not laser focus or radical abandon. Safety is a killer of progress. Moving forward isn’t safe. It’s dangerous.
To leave everything requires the death of security. A real encounter with the Lord provides the faith necessary to remove everything propping us up or tying us down. When we see Him, we realize how feeble our self-built house truly is.
You see, security is really a myth. You can allow life to surprise you with this reality or you can discover it intentionally. The latter is less costly.
Jesus isn’t safe, but He is good. A genuine encounter with Him will result in a mix of holy fear and incredible grace. A revelation of His greatness and His love.
Once seen, leaving everything is the only decision that makes sense.