“So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.”
What are you holding on to today that might be keeping you from experiencing God’s very best for your life? It might be your own way, your reputation, pride, the respect of others, un-forgiveness, a bank account, a certain possession, a career, or selfish ambition – clearly the list could go on.
My two year old son, Jude recently reminded me of the truth that often times we need to be willing to let go of something if we want to get what we are truly after. (For those of you who regularly read my blog, I promise God gives me illustrations other than Jude – He just tends to speak to me a lot these days through my little guy!)
So, a few weeks ago Jude let me know he wanted to get to choose his own daily vitamins from the bottle – he is a big kid after all – and seriously, how insulting to have your Mom give them to you when you are clearly more than competent! As I handed Jude the container (before anyone panics, I was right next to him watching what would transpire!) he reached his pudgy little hand into the opening and grabbed his vitamins. As he started to take his fist out of the jar, he realized that his hand was stuck. With his little fingers curled tightly around his vitamins he could not get his balled fist out. After several failed attempts he realized he needed to let go of the vitamins, take his hand out of the container, and then tip them into his hand. He had to let go if he wanted to get what he was truly after.
I believe many of us fall into the same trap. We want to experience God’s very best for our life. We want to follow after Jesus and experience a life of deep meaning, but often we find ourselves stuck, robbed of this deeper desire. Quite simply, when we hold on too tightly to things of self or this world, we miss out on God’s best for us.
Luke chapter 5 records Jesus calling His first disciples. In the calling of Simon Peter, James, and John, Luke notes “they left everything and followed him.” Jesus invited them to follow Him, and they dropped everything – truly everything – right there on the spot and followed. It is recorded later in Luke’s gospel that others desired to follow Jesus but wanted to take care of certain things before they followed. At that time, Jesus essentially told those individuals they could take care of their things, or follow him – but they couldn’t do both.
Consider though that the disciples made the wise decision to drop everything and follow – and their lives were forever changed.
From this passage we can understand if we want to experience God’s very best, we need to be willing to let go of the things that we hold on to so tightly in order to fully follow Jesus.
Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
This is what it means to truly live life to the full and follow Jesus, to let go of everything that hinders us in order to be free to follow Jesus.
So let me ask again, what are you holding on to today that might be keeping you from fully following Jesus and experiencing God’s very best for your life? Is it worth it? Are you willing to let go? Don’t wait another day, let go and live!