I have new car. It has all kinds of bells and whistles and some people think it is really a nice car. Too nice maybe. I, however, am not really a “car” person. My Honey is! He loves to try out new models and trades cars as often as possible. He doesn’t have a lot of hobbies, or spend money on boats or golf or hunting trips. He just likes cars. New ones.
I am still trying to figure out all the gadgets on my car. It answers the phone for me, wether I want it to or not. It remembers how I like my seat when I drive and even tells me how to get where I am going. It even remembers the LAST place I have been in case I want to go there again which is far more than I can usually remember!
One thing that I thought was odd about my car is that it has an audio cassette player!
My first thought was WHY?? Who needs those anymore?? My last car was 6 years old and it only had a CD player!
In any case, I had a bit of a drive to make recently and would be all alone so I decided to grab a teaching series to take along. I like to use my time wisely. When I went my “stash” to choose one, I discovered a very old but very special teaching series that I have had for YEARS on the “Specific Plan of God” for EACH of our lives!! I had not been able to listen to it in a long time since it was on AUDIO TAPE!
Imagine that!! The topic was exactly what I had been studying and searching God’s Word about over the past weeks and God provided the OLD TOOL that I needed to hear it.
My drive when by way too fast. I was as deeply effected by this old teaching as when I first heard it so many years ago. The anointed Word of God does that! It was like a REVIVAL in my car as I was reminded of some of the things that God had shown me over the years, about His plan for my particular ministry and life.
I REALLY NEEDED to hear this stuff again as I still sometimes get confused by some of the many options that seem to be drawing me. There are so many “GOOD” God things that surround us but I have always desired to do the EXACT THING that God has for ME to do.
I do not want to waste my time, or anyone else’s, pursuing things that are not meant to be. I want to do only those things that NO ONE ELSE can do but me. The things that God created ME to do.
I want to STAY FOCUSED on those things regardless of the setbacks, the circumstances or the closed doors that might seem to be altering or at least hindering, my course.
There is a story in the Bible about a man who approached Jesus and asked how he might go about claiming his eternal life. Jesus told the man, who was apparently very rich in material possessions, that he need to “Sell everything you have and follow me!”.
I have read that story many times over the years. The obvious point is how difficult it is to give up “things” in order to follow Jesus. As I listened to the teaching today, it struck me, maybe it wasn’t the THINGS this guy struggled with.
Maybe it was the APPROVAL of others.
Maybe it was the ACCEPTANCE of those around him that was so difficult to give up.
Maybe it was “What will PEOPLE THINK if I SELL EVERYTHING???”
Maybe it was what others would have to give up if HE sold everything? Like if he owned a company or something?
I wonder how many people over the centuries have approached places, experiences, ministries, blessings that God has for them but are just not willing to take the chance of looking silly or stupid or expose themselves, or others, to the risk?
Do you ever wonder…What will people THINK if I actually pursue this thing that God has put on my heart?
What if I fail?
What if I fall completely on my face and look like an idiot?
What if no one gets it? doesn’t understand?
Has God put a dream in your heart that is worth “SELLING EVERYTHING” for including your image, the approval of others, the understanding of others?
I think the response of this guy tells it all…
Matthew 19:22 (The Message)
22That was the last thing the young man expected to hear. And so, crest-fallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn’t bear to let go.
What a great post. More than things I think I struggle to let go of my comfort. Having grown up in a household that always seemed to be in transition I struggle not to hold tightly to the way things are. I find myself fighting change. How much more could God bless my life if I would let go of my security and just follow Him?
Thinking of you and praying for you in the your travels today!
Amazing post Pat! It really hit home for me. SO many things that God is talking to me about and I am trying to "let go" of caring about what everyone will think. I don't want to miss out on what HIS plan is for me.
Thanks for you words! See you next week. Have a wonderful week!
Mark 10:17-23 (New International Version)
The Rich Young Man
17As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
18"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. 19You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'[a]"
20"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."
21Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
22At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"
I have often wondered about this rich young ruler who fell to his knees when meeting Jesus and went away sad. In Mark's gospel we are also told in verse 21, that "Jesus looked at him and loved him".
How does Mark know that? Is in fact this rich young ruler Mark himself, nephew of Barnabas, commonly believed to be the young man in Mark 14:51-A young man wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus, who Paul refused to take with him because Mark had turned back when the going got tough-Acts 15:37-41 but then Paul requests Mark to be brought to him because he is helpful in Paul's ministry-2 Timothy 4:11.
How difficult it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God – we in our western culture have so much wealth and I can identify with this rich young ruler (who I think could be Mark) because as I have walked away from Jesus after He looked at me and LOVED ME – I have turned back and have followed wholeheartedly until really difficult times have come upon me and have backed away AGAIN!!! but could not escape the fact that Jesus LOVED ME and have found that now I am "helpful" in God's ministry because I have come to the place where my life/wealth is nothing- my life is my Jesus who loves me.
What a word! Don't you love epiphanies like that? And more…can I borrow that cassette tape? I'm sure I can find a cassette player somewhere…maybe Goodwill…??? :o)
I'm going to give you a call later this morning.