"Without faith it is impossible to please Him."
I woke up during the night with an acrostic that I have heard many times going through my mind. FAITH = Forsaking All I Take Him. This play on words for faith is an accurate picture of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. There is a call to each believer to be a follower of Christ. It may sound odd to say it that way, but I believe that there are many "believers" who are not necessarily "followers" of Christ. They believe on Him as the Savior of their soul, but they have never come to that place of decision that they have made Him the Lord of their life. Why?
It is quite simply because they do not like the first two words in the acrostic that I gave you above: Forsaking All. This is absolutely the most difficult thing to do, but it is also the most necessary requirement to be a follower of Jesus. When Jesus called His disciples, He simply said to each of them, "Follow me." They understood very clearly that this command and invitation was predicated on the fact that they would leave everything else behind in order to carry it out. Therefore, some of them left their nets with fish flopping around inside of them. Matthew left his seat with his former god, money, still on the table. The one we call "Doubting" Thomas was sure enough to walk away from his former life in order to be a disciple. On the other hand, the rich young ruler went away disappointed, because he could not forsake all and carry His cross.
Discipleship is not a course that you take at church; it is instead a course that you must walk each and every day of your life. It is a life of devotion to the Almighty which has nothing to do with your own merit, talents, or abilities. Discipleship is simply a life surrendered to God and the decision to follow wherever and however the Spirit leads. It will lead you through pain, into the presence of your enemies, and even through the shadow of death. There is no promise of ease or comfort just as those would be followers of Jesus were told that there would be no place to lay their head. If you are looking for personal and physical satisfaction, this is not the life for you. However, if you are willing to endure the cross that is set before you and suffer with Christ, there is in the midst of His heart a joy unspeakable and full of glory.
May you forsake all and take Him today!