It’s a Spiritual Issue…
Just tell me what to do. Give me the checklist. I’ll get started on it right away. Really?
“What must I do to inherit eternal life?” a rich man asked Jesus.
Jesus’ ultimate response was, “follow me.”
The rich man claimed to have kept all of the commandments, all of the religious rules, rituals and traditions; yet he knew deep within, that he was missing something.
Notice that he asked what he must do. He wanted to know what action he must take, what tasks he must accomplish and what rules he must follow to obtain eternal life. He was looking for the checklist. Aren’t we all?
Our lives are full of rules and “shoulds.”
Should worship somewhere, somehow. Should read the Bible. Should join a small group. Should pray more often.Should spend more time with family. Should work harder. Should make more money.
Should, should, should.
In his latest publication, The Jesus-Centered Life, author and theologian Rick Lawrence says,”The good news, of course, is that Jesus is not interested in shoulding us into an obedient relationship with him.”
Jesus gave the rich man a simple answer. Whatever you are holding on to so tightly, whatever you can’t let go of, whatever obstacle is standing between you and Jesus; give it up, give it away, and follow me.
For the rich man the obstacle was money. For some of us its family, or friends, career or fame, or power and position.
There is nothing wrong with any of the above…until the importance of these keeps you from following Jesus.
So, is your job holding you back? Are you willing to give up that lucrative career to take a job using your gifts to benefit the greater good instead of your retirement account? Are you waiting for the approval of your family before you decide to do what Jesus has put on your heart?
Jesus asked the rich man to release something so that he could receive something; eternal life is here and now. Eternal life is based on an attitude of love and sacrificial generosity to all others.
Your alternative god is the demon that holds you back. Name it, claim it and give it up. Can you?