Taiwan Day 73 – Are you a true disciple of Jesus? (在台灣的第73天─你是耶穌真正的門徒嗎？)
Luke 14:25-27 – “Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and returning to them he said: ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.'”
I think that Jesus can’t be any more blatant than this: there will be a cost that will incur on our behalf if it is in fact the discipleship of Christ that we sell ourselves out for. Following Jesus means the shedding of our very own blood and enduring sacrifice of everything in trade for a journey on His narrow road to a life of eternity. This is a highly unpopular route that many who are self proclaimed Christians or followers of Christ will truly take.. I recall a pastor once mentioning that, “You’re either all in or not in at all.” The perceptions of our minds trick even the most avid believers as.. sure, it’s easy to be in agreement with how Jesus lived, what He commands, and how He died for us for what in the end was a gift and benefit for all of humanity. We as a society and culture will easily gravitate towards all the attractive things of the Gospel which will benefit our lives minus all the rest of the things which directly deal with suffering, sacrifice, and surrendering.. Many are worshipers of the gifts and blessings rather than the giver and blesser. Jesus sums it up very simply here in Luke.. is that we must give up everything which include our families, prosperity, and our very own lives. It’s a hard concept for many to swallow, especially when all the things we firmly grasp onto usually are connected deep down to root of the very nature of our commitment or lack thereof to Christ.
In order to really gain more understanding of what Jesus is saying through these scriptures, I choose not to focus or judge the lives of others, but rather put my very own underneath a spiritual microscope. I must then ask myself, “Am I a true disciple of Jesus?” or even another way of wording it is, “Have I truly given up everything for Christ?”.. The concept of family and marriage have always been held up for me as false idols in place of Christ coming from a past of a lot of inner brokenness, rejection and abandonment. It was easy for me to be able to shun away from that darkness through my life pursuit of thinking that a new marriage and family would eradicate my past struggles.. and is in some sense something I still hold onto to this very day. I even had tried so hard to obtain these things in the past which my own inner torment would be the very demon which would destroy the temples and higher places I had established for myself. Does that mean that God doesn’t want to gift me a wife and family someday to serve and help bring redemption to a lost generation? Absolutely not.. and with all my heart, I am in firm belief that He has all these things lined up for me and wants to bless rather than curse me.. but with that truth, first thing is first.. where Jesus is personally convicting me and telling me, “Follow me.. not family, not fame, etc.. but me.. because I love you and want to disciple you.” Its more of the matter of building an heart of integrity to move forward in absolutely trust serving Him first knowing that His promises are great in my undying obedience to Him.
Thank you Father, for releasing unnecessary pressures in my spiritual valve that You already have planned in Your timing. Though I admit that its hard and challenging at times, I’m down to pay the cost.. I know that there is still more and more that I need to let go of, but this is my true pursuit of You. I am grateful how You have already taken care of everything, so that when the time is right, I will not be centered around these but in reverse they will be Christ centered.. Thank you for using this heart check to realign my purpose, my motives, my heart and behavior that flow in and through every area of my life.. I desire more of Your Holy Spirit, that Your presence and Your word goes from my head, into my heart, out through my hands and bled for the sake of You and others.