Being a disciple of Jesus is not easy. As a matter of fact Jesus warned His followers that it would be hard:
John 16:33 “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”
There will be days when you don’t feel like following Jesus. I know that sounds strange but I believe most professed Christians resonate with the sentiment. There will be days when you feel that contradicting the teachings of Jesus would make your life easier. For example:
- Money is tight so not giving would make life easier
- Marriage is hard so divorce would make life easier
The list of temptations to walking in the flesh is endless. But the list to overcome the flesh is pretty narrow.
Galatian 5:16 I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh
Living a life abandoned to the teachings of Jesus regardless of how you feel or what you think would make your life better is paramount to being a disciple of Jesus. The rich young ruler wanted to follow Jesus but he wanted his possessions more. He went away sad. Our ideas of what’s best will ultimately leave us wanting. Jesus’s teachings will ultimately leave us with abundance. (John 10:10)
This is a hard teaching and certainly one that I or anyone else has not perfected. With that in mind, I want leave you with a truth that has helped me battle my flesh and grow in my dependence upon Jesus and trust more that Jesus’s teachings on how I should live is better for me even if when my flesh disagrees. Here it is:
100 years from now all that will matter is Jesus.
Revelation 11:15 The seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying,
The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom
of our Lord and of his Christ,
and he will reign forever and ever.
When it’s all said and done Jesus will be all we need. What a motivating truth to cultivate that relationship now above everything else. And in doing so everything else is stimulated toward abundance and contentment. (See Matthew 6:33)
Marriages are stronger; parents are filled with an eternal parental purpose. Friendship and community are deepened. Success is redefined. And the Kingdom of God is experienced today when we live like that’s all that will matter tomorrow.