Sunday, March 22, 2009
Admirer or Follower?
"The difference between an admirer and a follower still remains, no matter where you are. The admirer never makes any true sacrifices. He always plays it safe. Though in words, phrases, songs, he is inexhaustible about how highly he prizes Christ, he renounces nothing, gives up nothing, will not reconstruct his life, will not be what he admires, and will not let his life express what he supposedly admires."
This quote has turned over and over again in my mind for the past few weeks. Its depth has pierced my soul with conviction. Truly I admire Christ, all that He is, and all that He has done for me. My heart is full of deep affection, but has this affection led me to give up all that I have and all that I am? Have I laid down my life for His? Have I followed Him to the cross? Or do I still hold on to earthly ties?
I want to be considered as one who follows my Lord, but this following comes with great cost. Sometimes the cost seems too great, but is it really? What cost is too great for the One who gave up his right to be king, and came humbly as a poor man to this earth to live a short life, then die? He lived to die. If I am a true follower of Him, my purpose will also be to live to die.
I like how the Message translation of Luke 14:33 says it. It states, "Simply put, if you're not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can't be my disciple."
Living to die, truly is a process. At the moment I finally give in and die to that thing I hold so dear, I am confronted by yet something else that lies deeper, something embedded into my heart that my selfish soul refuses to let go of. Then the dying process begins yet anew. For this reason Paul said "I am crucified with Christ." In other words, I am daily dying.
There is beauty, though, in this death, this being "ruined" of soul. It is the life of freedom that follows. Freedom to be a true disciple of Christ. You see, the more self dies, the more joyful life becomes. Although the process is hard, as death is painful, the resurrection of life that follows is beyond compare.
Posted by jacqueline