After this He [Jesus] went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And He said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything, he rose and followed Him. -Luke 5:27-28
It’s easy for us to ask God what we want to have, but when it comes to committing ourselves to Him, we always have reservations. We seldom act like Matthew (Levi) who left his post and follow Christ with no hesitation.
I used to be someone who always think twice if I should give up everything or not. I was then a fool who thinks I am a Christian, but I haven’t yet surrendered everything to Him. I still think about selfish things. I still want to have what this world offers.
But when those facts sink in to me, I regret wasting my time professing to be one, but really not yet one. I regret not committing myself to God wholeheartedly. I hated not pleasing Him before, and only lived to please myself.
I was a fool before who thinks of God as a Cosmic Genie who can give everything that I want. My image of God before was completely idolatrous. Everything was centered to me and not to Him. I just want to look like a Christian before, thinking that God will bless me back if I’ll do that. I was wrong. Completely wrong.
A fallen man is prideful and selfish. All he thinks is himself. He is depraved and wretched. Nothing good comes from him. All true Christians will admit that we used to be like that. And although it hurts to reminisce how awful are the lives we used to live before, sometimes we have to share those stories to give people a warning not to be hypocrites who know that God exists, but praise Him with empty words.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ – Matthew 7:21-23
How do we measure someone’s faith? Is it through counting the number of Sunday services he attended? Is it through counting the number of charity programs he pioneered? Is it through counting the amounts of Bible stories he knows? Or is it through counting the years he lived after he said he has faith in Christ? Nothing from those things can even measure a faith of a Christian. Unbelievers and hypocrites can do those things.
We measure someone’s faith through his obedience to the commands of God, and one of God’s command is to follow Him, deny ourselves and take up our cross daily. He asked us to commit ourselves with no reservations. But looking into the lives of many Christians today, only few really desire to do that. Many will always have a part to keep for themselves. They’re not actually living their lives around faith. Those people are still on the state of unbelief.
Christ asked us to deny ourselves and make way for the Lord of lords. He asked us to give up our lives to the most powerful Master of all.
And He said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.” –Luke 9:23-27
Many professing Christian today missed that fact a lot times. We sometimes think we can control God by asking things we want which are obviously contrary to what He wants us to have. Many people today make God their slave, not their Master, who answers their commands. How pitiful human beings can be. We think we know it all, and we falsely believe that just by thinking things positively, we can change our destiny.
But our lives has already been written by Someone greater, by Someone who knows everything even what our hearts desire. He knows who are His, and He knows who will claim to know Him, but they’re really not His.
Now when He [Jesus] was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs that He was doing. But Jesus on His part did not entrust himself to them, because He knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for He himself knew what was in man. -John 2:23-25
Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe.The works that I do in My Father’s name bear witness about Me, but you do not believe because you are not among My sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. -John 10:25-29
He is all-knowing, and nothing is hidden from Him. But a Fallen Man has tendencies to blame some things to God. We even blame God for letting poverty and all the negative things exist without thinking it was our fault why the world has been suffering for thousands of years now. We sinned, and only few even want to care about that. Many people want to think more about themselves and their dreams.
When someone becomes a true Christian, Christ gives him a new heart. That means he will have new desires, and those desires will please God above all else. But if a regenerate heart does not exist to someone who professes that he is a Christian, he has the right to doubt if he is truly a Christian.
What God did for us on the Cross has never been a joke. He ransomed us for a reason, and it is for us to submit ourselves to Him. To love Him with all of our heart, our mind, our soul and our strength. And to show that love, we must obey Him. We have to commit our lives to Him.
Giving up our lives to God is the best thing a man could ever do. If your life is not surrendered to Him, and you think everything is all about you, then everything is up to you. But we have finite minds. Even geniuses don’t know everything. And since our minds are finite, we can never have an infinite power. Thus, whatever way you do to make your life go to the direction you want to go, God’s sovereign power will always be there to stop you because His counsel will always stand.
Let’s commit our lives by desiring things that pleases God, and doing everything to glorify His name alone. Let’s be faithful to Him and follow His Word. Let’s pray to Him, and tell Him everything. Let’s love our fellow Christians and desire to fellowship with them no matter what. Let’s also commit our lives to proclaim the Gospel and tell all people about the Good News. Those things will be impossible if we will do it alone, but with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).
His yoke is easy, His burden is light, and everything that happens to someone who loves Him will always be for his own good.
Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” –Matthew 11:28-30
God deserves our wholehearted obedience because He didn’t think twice to die for our sins. Thus, let’s never think twice to commit ourselves to Him with no reservations. Let’s be like Matthew (Levi) who is willing to leave his comfort zone just to follow Christ.
God bless you, readers!
Soli Deo Gloria.