Friday, December 13, 2013

"But First..."

"...'I will follow You, LORD; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.'"
Luke 9:61

God's Word shows us that He tests His people. In this passage in Luke 9 the discipleship of Jesus' followers is put to the test. One man approaches Jesus and tells Him, "I will follow You wherever You go" (v. 57). Jesus' response implies that it won't be easy and won't always be comfortable. He says, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has no place to lay His head" (v. 58). To others Jesus said, "Follow Me." Their reply was, "I will, but first let me..." Let me go and do such and such, like bury a father who is dying, or say goodbye to family. Each case implies that though the followers desired to follow Jesus, someone/something else took greater precedence in their lives. The LORD however, wants followers that are willing to put Him first, period. Willing to walk in immediate obedience to whatever He calls them to; not obedience that is delayed on order to take care of personal desires first.

When God calls me to something, am I willing to count the cost, trust in His provision for all the "but firsts..." that I might come up with, and immediately follow Him? If I really want to walk with God, I must be willing to bypass thoughts like, "I will follow You LORD,  but first let me" ...get some more sleep, go here or there, do this or that, consult with my spouse or friend for their opinion on the matter, and just do what He's told me to do. There may be naysayers. There may be people who do not agree. There may be others who think they should come first in my life. Nonetheless, I just need to do what Jesus tells me to do as the greatest authority in my life, and walk confidently in it!

Father God, please forgive my unfaithfulness this morning. For saying "I will follow You," but putting laundry and cleaning the kitchen for early morning company in front of my time with You. When tested, I want to be found faithful to You. Help me to walk with confidence in the things You've called me to without delay and without excuse. Guide my steps and make straight the way as I trust in You (Proverbs 3:5-6). In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

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