Thursday, January 23, 2014

Already Gone

And he left everything behind, and got up and began to follow Him. (Luke 5:28 NASB)

If you were given these three verbs to arrange in proper order: follow, leave, rise, you'd almost certainly say the rising came before the leaving, but that would be wrong. When Jesus walked up to Matthew and said "Follow Me", He was also saying "Leave this tax collector job behind. Leave your wealth and your fancy house and toys behind, and follow Me."  The first decision to be made in following Christ was whether or not to leave the old life behind. Deciding to leave the old life behind made the rising and following considerably easier. In fact, once the leaving was decided, the hard part was done. All Matthew had to do was stand up and start walking.  

The problem for most of us is that we would prefer to rise and follow Jesus without leaving our old life and ways behind, but that's not the way it works. To follow Jesus, leaving the old life and ways behind is not just a good idea, it's essential. That deciding though, it's the really hard part. We've probably struggled with some "old life" leaving issues ourselves. It's to be expected that the life our loved ones have come to embrace is hard to leave. It's part of the process, but made much easier when we tire of the lifestyle we thought we wanted. 

Today, pray that our loved ones (and we also) would be so weary of their current lifestyle that the leaving will be quickly accomplished, and that, when they rise, it will be obvious that they'd already gone, leaving the mistakes and old ways behind to follow Christ.