Monday, April 23, 2012

Sell Everything and Follow Me

Luke 18:18-25

A certain ruler asked Jesus, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"  

"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered.  "No one is good-except God alone.  You know the commandments: 'You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'"

"All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said.

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing.  Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me."

When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy.

While praying this morning, I felt God telling me that He was going to shake things up.  I started wondering what that could mean.  I know Hubby and I have jokingly discussed selling out and sailing around the world like Gregg Granger and his family did as described in the book Sailing Faith: The Long Way Home.  Or Hubby quitting his job and relocating to a spot where we could live off the land.  Absolutely not something we would really do.  But the possibilities were running through my head.

I thought again about my missionary friend, what it would mean to sell almost everything you owned and move to Mozambique.  If God called us to be missionaries, what would that mean for us?  I started thinking about my house.  Would we rent it?  Sell it?  What would we do with our stuff?  Sell it?  Put it in storage?  What of my stuff would I want to keep?  What would I part with?  

In the past, whenever I have read the above passage from the Bible, I always thought that the rich ruler was weak.  Jesus was standing right in front of him, telling him to sell all and follow him.  He should have jumped at the chance to follow Jesus.  I never took the time to apply it to me personally.  If God were to ask me to give up 95% of my things, keeping only the things that are essential, would I say yes? 

I'm not rich.  I don't have a lot of fancy things.  While I could happily part with about 70% of the things I own, I realize that I have a lot of attachment to the other 30% that would make it a real sacrifice to give away.  I have a sleep number bed and a log bed frame.  I love them.  I don't sleep well when I am away from home and I am always very happy to return to my own bed. 

Then there's my kitchen.  I could part with a lot of things in there, but I really like my cookware.  I've collected a few favorite pots and pans over the years and being forced to use something else would be hard.  I'm also rather partial to my new computer.  

Maybe the rich ruler wasn't so weak after all.  Maybe he was just normal.  Like me.  Simple purging can make me sweat buckets over whether I should keep something or not.  It would be very hard to whittle down my house to just a few boxes of essentials.  I pray that whatever God has in store for me that I will say yes without looking back.  That I will do better than the rich ruler who went away sad.  That I would actually sell all and follow Jesus.

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