Friday, August 23, 2013

ROAD BLOCK TO MISSIONAL LIVING: Trying To Hold Onto Everything Else In Life & Follow Christ

One of the major roadblocks to #missionalliving is trying to hold onto everything else in life and follow Christ at the same time.  Isn’t that what the Great American Dream is all about? “Going after it all and having it all”, isn’t that what we’ve been taught is what one should do?  There just one problem with this philosophy when it comes to following Christ, His mission and His purpose for you in this life!  And that problem is:  IT’S IMPOSSIBLE!  You can’t follow Christ and hold onto this world.  That’s right, you can’t do that, it’s just impossible!
In order to follow Christ wherever He leads you must be wiling to let go of your former priorities in life or else they will serve as an anchor that holds you back. Let’s take a look at when Jesus called Matthew to follow him:
“After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.”  Luke 5:27,28 (NIV)
The important part I want you to see from this passage is that Matthew “left everything and follow him”.  The combination of “leaving” and “following” cannot be overstated!  No person can effectively and closely follow Christ if they are still tied to the things of this world.  For Matthew leaving “everything” meant leaving his livelihood.  He was a tax collector and he received His call to follow Christ while he was at his job.  Isn’t it interesting that we do not hear any words from Matthew spoken to Jesus saying, “Let me first finish my work today and then I’ll follow you?”  We don’t hear anything of the sort coming out of his mouth.  Instead, what we do we read? ” … and Levi (Matthew) got up, left everything and followed Jesus.”  Matthew receives his call from Jesus to follow Him and without question HE GETS UP and follows.
This is the common pattern we see in all the gospels.  Jesus extends His invitation to “follow Him” and those who did got up, left everything and followed Him.  Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishing when they got their call to follow Jesus. The Bible says that they pulled their boats up to shore, left everything and followed Jesus (Luke 5:11).  There it is again!  We see the leaving and following joined together.
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