Cost of discipleship
“No! That’s where I was sitting!”
“No it’s not! I’ve been sitting here all day!”
“No you haven’t! It’s my turn to sit there! Mom, Dad! She’s not sharing! I want to sit there and she is sitting there!”
This is just peek at one of many conversations at my house. Indeed this is a fight over ONE spot on the couch. One. Our couch can seat 7 adults. There’s PLENTY of places to sit.
My reply is usually something like this,
“There’s a whole couch there. Find some place to sit or sit on the floor. “
To which I usually receive the reply,
“I never get my way!”
You know that verse in Mark where Jesus sighs in his spirit? Yup! Me too!
At the end of the 8th chapter of Mark, Jesus shares with His disciples the cost of discipleship. Starting in verse 34, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”
He must deny himself. This means to abstain or refrain from our own will. It is a daily humble submission to God’s will over our own. It is bringing everything about us under Christ. It is putting first things first – Him first, above everything… including GETTING OUR WAY.
Jesus has a picture of this for us when he was praying in the garden just before His trial. ”My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” It’s as simple as this. Jesus prayed. God said no. Jesus said not as I will but as You will. And Jesus carried the cross. Jesus didn’t get His way.
You know, I don’t always get my way either. And that’s ok! I may not like it. But liking or disliking it is irrelevant. His will trumps mine. I don’t always act like it and may throw a tantrum like my girls fighting over squatting rights on the couch. I may even sound like comedian Ron Pearson screaming “I don’t wanna!!!” Just google “Ron Pearson I don’t wanna” and you’ll know what I mean.
If I really admit it, I’m spoiled. I have been known to whine like a child to God when I don’t get my way. And I’m not alone. We’ve all done it! It’s that ever giving over our will to His will. Each day its a choice – sort of a tug of war match. The more we struggle to win the more wore out we get. It’s much less work to let go of the rope and let God’s will prevail.
Here’s a question to close on. Told you this would be short! Did you ever stop to think that our way might not be God’s way? Seems like an obvious question with an obvious answer. But we are also good at missing the obvious! We may not get “our way” or view things not going “our way” because “our way” is not “His way”. Isaiah 55:8 says “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD”
It’s amusing to me. I find it so trivial looking at my girls fighting over the spot on the couch and saying to them, “It’s just a couch! Don’t get so worked up over it!”
But then I’m humbled. Because God says to me, “It’s just a couch! Don’t get so worked up over it! It’s not about your way. It’s about My way. It’s not about you. It’s always about me.”