As I was in my study time, I read and began to meditate on Luke 14:33 which says “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples”. Jesus tells us what it takes to be His disciple. It is not possible to gain entry into Harvard University without knowing the criteria for entry and once in, you will also need to know the criteria for success. So we come as we are. We all come as sinners. 1 Timothy 1:15-16 says “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life”.
Once we come as sinners, God begins to work in us if we are open to receive. God does not force us to come nor does he impose change and transformation on us. Whether we transition from being the sinner who came to a disciple is totally a choice we make. There are many of us who have come to Jesus and we hang around Him but we have not become disciples. We came and rather than make the transition, we connected with others who shared similar sins like us and felt too comfortable to want change. So I became a Christian and found Sally in the Church and Sally likes to go dancing on Saturdays just like me. Sally and I start to go clubbing every weekend and we convince ourselves that as long as we do not fornicate with the men we meet at the club we are fine. Some weeks we are too tired to go to church the next morning so we sleep in. When Pastor mentions he has not seen me at church for a while, I lie to cover up. I love the Lord and I have accepted Jesus as my savior but He is not yet my Lord. Now I am torn between my love for clubbing and making a sacrifice to fully commit to attending church and growing in character. After all if I lie a few times about why I missed church, I can repent and Jesus is patient to forgive me.
This is only a small example of how the love of the world can affect whether we remain a baby Christian or transition into a true disciple of Christ. In order to become a disciple, we need to make a choice. We need to make a sacrifice. We will need to give up many things if Christianity is going to be more than just belonging to a social club that meets on Sundays. Are you willing and ready to give up not just some things but everything? Luke 14:33 is as crystal clear as it gets; Jesus is asking for you and I to give up everything!
What does giving up everything mean? Does Jesus want you to suddenly go homeless, without a car, to give all your clothes to charity and stop going on lavish vacations? Is He asking for you to stop having any type of fun in your life? Not at all. Jesus’ prescription for being a disciple is referring to a condition of the heart. There will be times in your walk when you may need to give up your car or house in obedience. Will you do it? Jesus will test you as you grow in your walk with Him. He will ask you to place your Isaac on the altar. Will you obey like Abraham did or is there something in your life that you cannot give up for Jesus? If He took away your spouse, all your children, your business, your job and even your health, will you curse Him and die or will you like Job say “the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh, blessed be His name”? Can the Lord trust you to ask for anything from you and know you will give it up and not forsake the faith?
The process of giving up everything is the breaking process. It is the road to obedience, humility and true surrender. This is the place where God can really trust you. This is the place where your pride is killed and you begin to walk in supernatural power yet you do not boast in yourself. Now you have become a disciple and where He leads you follow regardless of the cost. This is where God is calling us to be. In this place, Jesus is our all and in Him we have our being. In this place, we have become a living sacrifice and live for Jesus. Will you give up everything to be His disciple?