Have you ever wondered what it must have been like for the disciples when they first encountered Christ? Personally, I think it must have been a mixture of bizarre, confusing and irresistibly compelling. Jesus gave most of the disciples only a brief, perplexing invitation: "Follow Me" (Luke 5:27, NASB). Imagine going to a job interview, and instead of being asked questions or offered a salary package with benefits and stock options, you simply hear, "Come with me." Most of us would be pretty uncomfortable following someone into the unknown with so little explanation. Actually, I do not think anyone in their right mind would go.
The first step of faith became a lifestyle for the disciples. Jesus never really did a lot of clarifying; in fact, much of what He said was mystifying and created more questions than answers. The Gospels suggest that the disciples had little idea what the plan was from one day to the next, which is crazy. Imagine working for a boss who sent you on a business trip with no luggage, no food, no money, no hotel bookings and not even scheduled business meetings. Do you know even one church today that would organize a mission trip the way Jesus did? Yet the disciples and many others willingly followed this Man on this supernatural adventure. And it was not for any "package" He proposed to them, because the only thing He offered was Himself! Apparently, these men and women found Him compelling enough to leave their careers, families and other pursuits to follow Him (see Luke 5:11, 28).
In case you are wondering, Jesus is still in the business of making disciples, and He has not changed His leadership style one bit. The most challenging thing about following Chris is that His greatest concern is not for our comfort. Before we get to know Him, many of us wonder about Jesus' motives for leading us as He does. Does He enjoy scaring the heck out of us? Does He want us to remain ignorant slaves who blindly do as we are told? Far from it! In fact, He wants to give us comfort, understanding and many other amazing things that emerge out of an intimate relationship with Him. He is passionate to connect with us and reveal His intense glory to us, for as we get to know Him we become like Him. Yet deep, intimate relationships can only be built on the foundation of complete trust.
This is where the risk-taking and discomfort come in. Jesus so loves us that He wants us to trust Him more than anyone else or anything else. He is the ultimate expert at identifying our objects of trust, particularly things we rely on to protect us from our greatest fears and to fulfill our deepest desires. Therefore, He is a master at confronting us with choices that encourage us to break our attachment with these things and put our trust in Him instead. If He allowed us to stay within our boundaries of fear, we would never reach our full potential in Christ.
It is scary to let go of tangibles to embrace the invisible. In my walk with the Lord, I have had to continually remind myself that when I let go of the world's security, I get to embrace Him and the supernatural. Thankfully, five times Jesus promises us abundant blessings for making this exchange. Here is Mark's version:
Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel's, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time - houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions - and in the age to come, eternal life. Mark 10:29-30
EXCERPT from Outrageous Courage
Order your copy today here