“Whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” Luke 14:33
Discipleship: Our commitment to following Jesus means that we abandon all of our desires to obey God faithfully.
Satan’s deception: The Garden of Eden had countless trees that Adam and Eve could eat from (God gives us free will). There was only one tree that God commanded Adam and Eve that God instructed them not to touch. Yet, the desire to eat from that one tree caused the fall of humanity. Eve was deceived because she chose to involve herself in a lose-lose conversation with Satan. But it didn’t take any effort for Adam. He intentionally chose to disobey God by just taking and eating the fruit. When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:6
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.” Matthew 6:24
Jesus tells us that it is not possible to live a double life. And this is an ongoing struggle. Our hearts pull us in the opposite direction of God’s plans. We are encouraged to follow our dreams. “Success” is aggressively promoted by our society. Where do we turn? Everyone else is achieving their goals, and we feel as if we have nothing. Praying for God to reveal His plans opens the door for many wonderful blessings that God is waiting to give to us.
The Controversy: Yes, I love God, but…
Fixated on loving ourselves causes us to have minimal love for Jesus Christ. Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” Matthew 22:37. Accepting Jesus as our personal Savior and Lord of our lives means that we must renounce [to abandon all] our pursuits, our will, and our desires. So, does that mean that we cannot have dreams or goals?
God created us with a sound mind. He gave us talents, gifts, and abilities that we use to glorify Him first. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11. Yes, God desires that we reach for the dreams that are part of His plans for us. As disciples, we present our goals and dreams to God in prayer. And we wait for God to reveal His purpose for our lives.
Answer to the dilemma: For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. John 6:38. We are Jesus’ disciples. When we wait on God, He will reward us for our faithfulness.
God’s Omnipotence: Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders You have done, and the plans You have for us–none can compare to You–if I proclaim and declare them, they are more than I can count. Psalm 40:5
Peace and joy are fruits of obedience. Can our plans compare to the plans that God has for us? Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD. Psalm 27:14
Bible study: Matthew 6
Prayer: God, we confess that we have not put you first. We ask forgiveness for attempting to live double lives. Let your will be done in our lives. We ask this prayer in the Worthy name of Jesus. Amen.