What prevents you from following Jesus? Is it family and friends? Riches and possessions? Power, position and prestige?
“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.”
The man who came from a scholarly pedigree said everything he was, no longer meant anything when he had a genuine encounter with Jesus. If you haven’t reached the end of yourself yet, I hope you get there soon because when you do, this is the condition where you meet Jesus (Isaiah 66:2).
“…Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.”
1 Samuel 15:22
The end of yourself (should you choose to), can become the beginning of a new life in the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. This is what surrender looks like,
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
He becomes our only true identity and we are no longer bound to labels and distinctions that fuel oppression- hence neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free but all are one in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:28). Alas, we are still subject to this fallen state,
“For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake…”
We can suffer persecution from false accusations, diseases, and everything that God uses to refine us, but we are NOT left to ourselves,
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”