Mark 10:21b-22, “…Then, come follow me. But he was dismayed by this demand, and he went away grieving, because he had many possessions.”
I was reading recently in Mark 10 about the rich young ruler. In verse 21 the Bible tells us that Jesus loved him. He was pleased with the young ruler because Jesus knew his heart was striving after better things. Sadly, the young ruler “had many possessions” and was not willing to part with them in order to follow Jesus. He missed the greatest possession he could have ever had. This young man’s focus was set on earthly things.
I began thinking about myself. I am a believer in Christ, unlike the rich young ruler, but there are things Christ may want me to give up in pursuit of Him. What “possessions” am I not willing to give up in order to follow Jesus? Maybe it is not so much about material things, but what do I hold on to in my heart? Do I hold on too tightly to ideas and dreams that I may have? Do I hold on too tightly to situations I “think” I’m in control of? Where is my heart when I have to give up my time and plans to help someone else? Where does my heart go when God may ask me to wait? Do I hold on too tightly to the people that I love? Do I follow Christ in my insecurities and my fears?
In The Bible Exposition Commentary I found this definition of a “disciple.” A disciple is more like an apprentice. A disciple is more than a student who learns lessons by means of lectures and books. He is one who learns by living and working with his teacher in a daily “hands on” experience. Too many Christians are content to be listeners who gain a lot of knowledge but who have never put that knowledge into practice. In Luke 9:23 Scripture tells us to “take up our cross daily, and follow me.” These words are an action. It is something I am to do! We are told to “take up and follow daily.” Notice that this is not a one-time thing. This is an everyday giving ourselves over to Christ and what He wants for us.
I do know from personal experience that nothing or no one can do in my heart what the Holy Spirit can. Yet, I still struggle with hanging on and not releasing everything to Jesus. Do I really trust Him? Do I truly believe He has my best interest at heart? My actions often show that I do not.
In Proverbs 3 we are encouraged to, “trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Then the very next verse says, “don’t be wise in your own eyes.” How often do I feel “wise” in my own eyes and forget about Christ? Do I trust Christ with my whole heart or just the pieces I want to trust to Him? Am I confident in Him to direct my path? Am I confident that He will be there for me? Am I confident that He will provide – in His way, maybe not mine?
Sometimes I am like a child when they do not want to hold a parent’s hand thinking they are big enough to walk alone. The harder the parent grips their little hand, the harder the child pulls away! Lord, I don’t want to get so confident in myself that I believe I know what’s best. I want to daily seek You, and follow You, and bring glory to Your Name. God, help me to trust You with all of my heart, soul, and mind.