In order to get right with God, we must submit everything to Him. God knows specifically the things we wish to keep for ourselves and confronts us about it. The rich young ruler had been diligent following the laws, but was conflicted when Yeshua, (Jesus’ Hebrew name), asked him to give away his wealth and follow Him. God is Jealous for our complete devotion. (Exodus 34:14)
It can be overwhelming as we consider the prospect of total surrender, reserving nothing in resignation. That state is contrary to the rational self and our human individualistic survival instincts. To give up all is to give up one’s self, which is what God seeks. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.’ ” (Matt. 16:24-25) He is patient and loving, moreover, He helps us in our weakness. I’m not speaking as an expert on this topic, in fact, I struggle with things I’ve picked up along my own pilgrimage. Just as it seems I’ve reached a good place in relationship, He reveals hidden places and things that must be surrendered or discarded.
Until, we have become totally dependent upon God, we can not find in Him our complete satisfaction. Only blind desperate faith is faith adequate for the Lord’s purposes. I remember the man who cried out to Yeshua, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief,” which He was willing to do. (Mark 9:24) When God asks us to let go of our last grip on self preservation, He stands ready to be our total sustenance. There are many good things God wants to give us, such as family, friends and the necessities of life. The life style of a monk is not for everyone, but we must be willing to place everything on God’s altar of sacrifice. Consider Abraham’s obedience regarding Issac, the promised heir.
I sincerely believe this is a message for us in these uncertain, wicked days. Our faith is founded in a relationship, when the Lord speaks to us about devotion, He is addressing the first and greatest commandment. ” ‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ ” (Mark 12:29-30) This commandment is all about a loving relationship. Lord, help us run into your everlasting arms.