I have really struggled with this concept since I zoned in on the idea that following God is not just about the good things in life. Living in faith includes carrying crosses, and I bet I’m not the only one who really likes a comfortable world that is designed to keep one cozy.
The problem with riches is that it allows us to take care of ourselves. I am convinced that the rich man in the Bible walked away because he liked his comfort and ability to determine his own direction in life, too. So, it isn’t that one has riches, but the attachment to it that causes us to put comfort before love of God.
In addition, having possessions allows us to save ourselves; to be our own savior. Who needs God when one can go to the pantry and have food? Who needs God when there is a roof over one’s head? Who needs God when they, by their own will power, act morally. No, the God in Jesus is a God who wants to care for us, to take care of our needs, and to lead us into and through experiences that shape us more into his image and likeness; that shapes us into who he created us to be. This means surrendering stuff in order to love him more, and to more fully experience his love for us.
If this is true, then love of God needs to be lived through surrender, through a willingness to allow him to shape us, to work through us for the shaping of others, and to surrender to him, no matter what the cost.
Luckily, God accepts us where we are. He allows us to take great or small steps into this place of trust. It is like ripping off a band-aid. Do you do it a little at a time or all at once? It is like getting into a cold swimming pool. Do you jump in or do you wade in a little at a time. I want to be the one that goes for it all at one time. I am so willing in some things, but not in all things.
Spend some time today being honest with yourselves about how much you love God, and how much you are willing to give to more fully love him. It is ok to be closer to the mark in some things than in others. It is ok to be right where you are; however, it is not ok to stay where we are. A Christian life is about transformation, it is about transcendence. Thus, we need to be growing ever more towards God and in God. As you reflect on where you are in this journey, thank God for allowing you to see in truth. Thank him for his patience and mercy, and ask him to show you the way of surrendering more to his love, and to give up the worldly things that prevent you from more fully loving him in return.