Monday, November 15, 2010

Something Gets Left Behind

Mark 8:34

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

I’m learning more and more what God meant when He said “he must deny himself…and follow me.”

I have a heart that wants to serve the Lord. I want to be used by Him. I want to impact lives for Him and I explicitly feel like I was called by Him into ministry. Yet in that desire and quest to do “great” things for the Lord, I think we sometimes forget that there is a price…a cost.

When God said “he must deny himself;” I’m finding out more and more what that means - if you really want to obey His call when you feel Him speaking and bidding to you in life. You see, sometimes denying ourselves means relationships and friendships must take a backseat. Sometimes it means we will forever be feeling like we need to catch up on housework because we’re always doing that “thing” that God has called us to. Sometimes it means that we will be low on sleep for a long duration of time.

Taking up our cross and truly following God often means that something gets left behind.

People often sound really encouraging if they hear you want to be a missionary or you feel that God is telling you to do this or that. But then when you embark on that road and they see that they are part of the price/the cost – they don’t like it so much.

I wonder if Mother Teresa’s family complained that she gave more to the world than she gave to them? I wonder if they felt left out; neglected? I wonder if she felt guilty or longed for things that she gave up in her quest to love, reach out, and encourage? Did she ever think about quitting?

Denying ourselves is the true test in life. It’s not an easy thing to do. Maybe we can do it for a time but then we grow weary or long for the comforts of life we are used to. It is the rare person who can truly deny Himself always without looking back. Yet, what a treasure they will find and they will BE if they can master that task!

I’m learning to deny myself in certain areas. I’m learning that in order to follow God in certain areas of life, I have to let some things come second. Some things will be left undone. Some areas I will forever feel like I’m trying to bring them “up to speed.” But I’m seeing more and more how this is the price and cost of following God when He calls. And my heart is learning to grow at peace with it – slowly – step by step. Because I want to be His servant and I want to work for Him. Him and Him alone.

Something HAS to get left behind if I’m to listen and obey. If I’m to “go.”

It’s just the cost of the call.

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