Give Up Everything
Laying down our lives for Christ is no easy task. It sounds good. It appears to be the most loyal thing you can do as a Christian. The allegiance to God and his Son attracts us, as it should. Living a selfless life for Christ looks like a great deal. After all, we are promised eternal life if we do so.
A great deal, indeed. Until, we are asked to give up something we may not want to. Take the “Rich Young Ruler” for example. Following Christ seemed really appealing to him. He kept all of the commandments as instructed. He still knew he needed something else to be complete. Jesus asked for him to sell his possessions and give to the poor. This did not sit well with the young ruler. The Bible says, “When he heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.”
When God calls us to live for him, he is asking for EVERYTHING. He wants it all. He wants our time, our finances, our sin, our insecurities, our hearts, and our dreams.
Dreams. “Who would ever want to give up their dream? At what cost? He wants that too? Why? I’ll give Him this and that, but I want to hold on to this.”
My friend Michelle told me a great story about a time where she gave up her dream for God. In 2010 Michelle visited Los Angeles to visit various film schools. She planned to move there and pursue her passion and dream of becoming an actress. Unfortunately, after spending a few days there, she learned that the living expenses were going to be too great for her. She felt like her dream was crushed.
Michelle returned to Colorado unsuccessful with film school, but she did not let her dream completely die. In fact, it was very much alive. She eventually hired an agent and did various acting jobs around Denver over the next couple of years still hoping to one day accomplish her BIG goal.
In July of 2014 things changed once more for Michelle, after accepting Christ two years prior. She stepped off the plane at LAX and instantly felt the familiarity of everything around her, including the devastating feeling she felt four years prior. While there for a Jesus Culture conference this time, God spoke to Michelle. She felt a sense of freedom and healing. She felt a new passion for the Spirit of God in her life and those around her. In that moment, she realized that her number one dream now is to be the light to others, help further the Kingdom of God, and preach the word.
God knows our truest desires, better than ourselves. He is not a dream killer by any means. He cultivates them.
I’m sure Michelle will still pursue her acting dream, but it is no longer her driving force. The Kingdom of God is her priority. She may not have come to this point if she were not willing to give up everything; and being inherently selfish as human beings, who could blame her? Nevertheless, we are blessed when we make these sorts of sacrifices. I believe God honors that very much.