“Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:25 – 26
Jesus really knows how to clear a room, doesn’t he?
With only three years of intentional ministry to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom, saying words like “Hate your life and give up all you have to follow me” does not seem like the way to win an audience or get the most likes. But Jesus was never interested in building a platform or finding an audience. He came to seek and save the lost, to heal those who were hurting, and to proclaim the good news to those with ears to hear and eyes to see.
Like a doctor who looks for signs of sickness by poking and prodding with healing instruments, the Holy Spirit uses the instrument of God’s Word to search out the offense in our hearts. The Bride of Christ (the church) is called to heal hurts and meet needs, but when she takes offense at every turn, she forgets that it is the Kingdom that she represents and is working to share. She stays on her mat instead of rising up, walking, growing strong, and bringing heaven to earth. This should not be.
So, how does God help us identify the offense we are carrying? Through more offense, of course!
If you never find yourself aghast at the words of Jesus, thinking “Did He really just say that?,” I would tell you that you aren’t diving deeply enough into His words. His words will often create tension for you and your mindset. Yet, tension provides the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to show you what God sees and knows. If we aren’t willing to consume and be nourished by all of God’s Word because we don’t find it palatable, we will languish in a land of half-hearted living. When we pick and choose which of God’s words we will hear and apply, we have one foot on dry ground and the other dipping into the shallow end of Heaven’s deep blue sea. If we live only half-heartedly in God’s truth, we will never know the “greater works than these” that Jesus said we would be able to do.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” – John 14:12
We were made for wholehearted devotion but are living in a world of endless options. No one can serve two masters and still prosper in body, mind, and soul.
God was not trying to win the popular vote by telling people He came to set them free. At the cost of sounding crazy and looking foolish to the world, Jesus came to win back the hearts of all of God’s kids. Without the knowledge that they are chosen by their Father in Heaven, sons and daughters will always attempt to fill their lives with love from people and from the world. We must choose. We can live free by loving heaven most and the things of the world less, or we can choose to love the things of the world most. Loving the world above all else leads to landlocked living, and to never discovering what the greater things could be.
Join us all month with our theme #taketheleap as we get honest about what holds us back and then take steps towards healing and wholehearted living. We will train our bodies and ready our minds to realize how painful straddling the fence of faith can be, and what incredible love God has for His children as He invites us to engage fully with His truth and grace.
It’s God’s love that can chase away our crippling fears and change our offense into joy. God wants to see us released from what holds us back so that we can take the leap into the deep blue sea of His extravagant love.
Alisa Keeton, Revelation Wellness Founder, and author of The Wellness Revelation.
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