Monday, July 21, 2014

The Most Important Goal of Discipleship

“I will not try to run my own life or the lives of others; that is God’s business.”
— Eugene H. Peterson
When we hand our will and our lives over to the care of God, having accepted Christ Jesus as our Lord, we then have one goal and that is to be a disciple – to be a Christ follower.
Being a Christ follower is harnessed in the above quote; our hands are off having to control lives – ours or others. We will need to let go of contentiousness and narcissism. We will need to be entirely willing to have God identify, address, and heal us of our shortcomings.
When we commit to giving up our desire for control, God will test us to see how serious we are. We will be asked to endure some unreasonable things. We will be required to give back to God what he demands we give him back, and we will need to do that willingly. When people hurt us, we will need to forgive them, without any promise that we will get justice in return. It will appear that we will lose out in life, especially as we consider other Christians who have not made such a rigorous holy commitment.
In understanding God is no respecter of individual persons – that he insists we believe upon Christ unconditionally – the offensiveness of the gospel will become apparent. There will be loved ones close to us who will be repulsed at the ‘requirement’ of our faith.
There will be times when our faith will make no sense, especially uppermost in contrast with our lives as opposed to others’ lives since we became Christ’s followers. But we need to recall that life is not necessarily about this life. It can be all too perplexing.
When we habitually turnover our will and our lives into the care of God, which means we are farthest from wanting to control others’ lives, then we come to no real, abundant life.
The abundant life doesn’t come until we have sacrificed it all. God may give us a hint of the life to come, but unless we give over everything we cannot receive everything.
The Christian walk – astride the Spirit of God – is nothing if not a full surrender. We cannot know all the blessings of God until we have given our all to God.
We cannot have life both ways; all the blessings of God and pleasures at our fingertips.
Giving up what we cannot keep, we gain what we cannot lose. We cannot keep anything that the world promises, but we will have eternally only things we cannot take with us.
The only thing that matters is relinquishing control over our own lives and others’ lives; for God to become more and us, less.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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