Sacrifice in obedience
Scripture reading: Mark 10:17-27
You ever come into contact with someone that instantly grabs your attention? I do, and I did recently while presenting to a group of individuals, during this session one of the participants stood out and piqued my curiosity. I was with this group to offer a solution to make their job easier, and make them more efficient. However, during my presentation, this specific attendee’s body language, harsh stare, and refusal to participate told me they didn’t want to listen to anything I had to say, and the solution I offered was not one they wanted. As I left our session, I couldn’t help but think of them and wonder, what type of day had they had? What is their life like? What brought on this seeming lack of interest and irritation? I understand what I offered was change, and change is intentional, it is hard, and not everyone wants it or can even bring themselves to it, but what was it in this case? As I sat in my car reflecting on my long ride home, I began to think about Jesus and the rich young ruler. We read this in Mark 10:17-27
This young man and Jesus are having a conversation. The young man seeks Jesus to learn the way to eternal life. Jesus lays before him his commandments. The ruler says back to Jesus that he has indeed kept these commands. The young ruler goes on further and asks, ‘What do I still lack?’ Jesus then tells hims to sell what he has, and give to the poor. What then does the young ruler do? Does he jump from his seat, and run out of the room and immediatly start selling off his possessions, and give to the poor??? No…he leaves Jesus, he walks away sorrowfully, because he had great possessions.
Jesus offered the rich young ruler an answer to his question. That answer required an obedience that the young ruler just wasn’t ready for. It required a change in him, and it required him to give something he wasn’t ready to give, a sacrifice he wasn’t willing to make and caused him to walk away sorrowfully.
My presentation offered ZERO spiritual ramifications. What I offered involved a habit change that would lead to more efficiency, increased professionalism, and maybe a little more time spent at home, things many professionals search for, yet my attendee rejected it without even giving it a try. I wonder if we were honest with ourselves, how many of us approach God’s Word the same as the rich young ruler, or the attendee in my training? God offers us an answer to the questions we have, yet we don’t like the answer He gives us, or we aren’t willing to make the change He requires? Maybe it is something ‘small’ like my example above…or maybe it is something seemingly HUGE like what was requested of the rich young ruler. If we are honest, we do it, and we probably do it a lot. I wonder when we act this way and refuse obedience, what are we leaving on the table? The rich young ruler, his love for his worldly possessions was so great that it caused him to walk away from Jesus’ solution sorrowfully… What is it that Jesus is speaking to you, what question have you asked him, what obedience is he drawing you to that just seems insurmountable?
I challenge you today to search your heart, have a moment of transparency with God. If He is asking something of you that seems mountainous, it’s just too much- reach to Him, and ask that He give you a heart to do that which He is asking, and realize that if it wasn’t good for you, He wouldn’t ask and if it wasn’t necessary, He wouldn’t suggest it. Reach to Him today, trust Him today…and when He draws you into obedience…Choose Him.