Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” (Mark 10:28)
Jesus responds to Peter by saying their surrender was for “My sake and the gospels”. Their motivation for surrender was kingdom minded. What can we say we have given up and why? Have we given up friends, family, jobs, influence, bad habits or money? That’s all great sacrifice but why did we do it? If we come to Jesus and say I surrender so you can make me better, we have the wrong motivation. Our surrender and sacrifice must be for the sole purpose of Jesus. Only when we surrender to Him, for Him, can we experience all of Him.
I heard a term this week that I think sums up why Christianity has become soft in America and why the U.S. has become one of the biggest mission fields in the world. That term was “life-hack Christianity”. It refers to the multitude of sermons based around how to live a better life, be a better person, or achieve some sort of goal. We have treated Christianity and Jesus like some sort of self-help gospel that will allow us to live a better life. In this self-help gospel, the blessings of God look a lot like the American dream. That isn’t the point of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not even close.
Consider Isaiah 6 where the prophet gets a vision of God, seated on the throne, in all His glory. Isaiah didn’t look upon God and think, “I have found the way to make my life better” No! Isaiah saw God on the throne and was wrecked. “Woe is me, for I am ruined”, was Isaiah’s response to a vision of God on the throne. God didn’t ask, “How can I help you achieve your goals and dreams”. God asked, “Who should I send? Who will go for us?” Isaiah responded with the only words he could muster in that moment, “Here I am. Send me.”
We have portrayed Jesus and Christianity in a way that people see it and think, this could help me out. Now, practicing Christian beliefs will lead to a better life. You will be generous, thoughtful, gracious, and kind. But, you can be all of that without being a Christian. We need to get back to the realization that being a Christian means an undoing of the life we knew, not an enhancement of the life we want to live. I can guarantee you that not a single person who has ever surrendered to Christ has ever been called to go accomplish the American dream.
Like Peter and the apostles, we need to come to the mindset that our lives are now to be lived for the purposes of the Kingdom of God. We need to surrender our lives, our dreams, our goals, and our desires to God and be a Kingdom minded people. Leave everything we once strived for and follow Jesus. Be undone in His presence and simply respond, “Here I am. Send me.”
Love Y’all! Be blessed!