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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Deep Calls

“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me,” (Psalm 42:7, NIV).

The unfathomable depth of the Spirit of God calls to the depth of the Holy Spirit within a man, and bids that man come. When the Holy Spirit is the one who calls, then it is the man surrendered to the Holy Spirit, who accepts.  Do you realize that you are called?  Has God taken possession of you? Jesus calls each Christian to leave self behind, take up His cross, and follow Him (Luke 14:27). These requirements don’t attract a large number of followers, but for those who do follow, the result of such a decision is guaranteed.  “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 16:25, NIV).

In Luke 14:25-33 Luke shares a story about Jesus and His disciples on a trip to Jerusalem. Just on the sidelines wanting to share in the miraculous without making a commitment are those unwilling to surrender and obediently say “yes” to Jesus.  Three times in Luke 14:25-33 Jesus addresses their motives. He reveals who cannot be His disciple—those who love family and their own desires more than Him, those who do not carry their cross and follow Him, and those who do not give up everything for His sake. Without submitting all their desires and completely surrendering to His call, Jesus knew they would miss discovering their potential and all that God had created them to be. Jesus asks for your complete surrender, too. When you refuse to surrender all that Jesus’ asks you to let go for Him, you also miss out on the reason God created you. But when you lose your life for His sake, you discover the purpose for which He created you. Just as He called those on the side of the road wanting to experience the glory without making a commitment, He also calls you to be a disciple.

A disciple of Jesus Christ is one who believes that loyalty and love for Him is greater than any other relationship. He believes that carrying his own cross requires a commitment to sacrificially and obediently follow Christ—to believe the truth of the Gospel and daily deny self. To give up everything doesn’t mean rejecting everything in your life. It just means that you are willing to let go what is needed. A disciple determines, as do the builder and king in Luke 14, exactly how much it will cost him to complete the work, and whether or not he is willing to pay that price. Jesus wants you to count the cost to follow Him, and be sure you are willing to pay it. Are you willing to place your life completely under the guidance of the Master? When you say yes to this call, your love for Jesus Christ outweighs all else in your life.  It is greater than your closest earthly relationship, and you are willing to give whatever it takes so others may know Him.

As a small child my five year old son followed behind me in heavy snowdrifts—each small foot stepping into the footprint that I had just made. Jesus Christ calls through the snowdrifts of your life, and offers a way to follow Him. Will you place your feet into His footprints? To walk as He walked and not be eternally lost in the confusion of shifting desires and earthly loyalties? Jesus Christ has shown the way through the blizzard, but you must decide about the cost.

Lynn Lacher

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