I started reading Radical by David Platt. I am only in the second chapter but I can so relate.
I know what it is like to leave behind the American dream and step out in faith to serve the Lord…twice. There was a time when we lived in a nicer home, drove European cars, owned an airplane, and traveled wherever we wanted.
Then we heard God tell us the same thing He told the rich young ruler, “Sell everything and follow me.” We did. Sadly the young man in scripture did not.
What he gave up is the joy, passion, and power of walking daily with Jesus. Platt is right when he writes that we gain treasures when we obey.
- Yes, you are abandoning everything you have, but you are also gaining more than you could have in any other way.Platt, David (2010). Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream (p. 18)
It has never been about what we gave up or what we could have had. It was and is always about Jesus.
Our reason for obeying is the same treasure we receive for that obedience. Love. Because we love Jesus more than the stuff, we obey. In return, He fills us with more love. A win-win situation.
“What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”
These lyrics may not be scripture but they are so true to the Christian life. The reason most Christians are not radical in the faith is that they just don’t love Jesus enough to trust Him in radical obedience. Therefore, they never grow in His amazing love. Stifled, stagnant love is no love at all.
Our family has twice been asked of God to leave behind all we have gained in this world. The second time He allowed us to give to our kids the ‘wealth’ as Mike and I started fresh in Morristown. Even though with both acts of obedience we endured many trials and struggles, He was faithful to pour out the treasures He promised.
I have to remind myself of this truth because I am holding my first grandchild in my arms and struggling. All night long, I wrestled in my soul.
Do I love Jesus more than this baby? Would I be willing to leave Eli behind to go wherever Jesus leads?
I cried a lot last night. My heart’s desire is to live even closer to Eli. I want a Gramma house close enough that he and all the future little ones can run in and out to their heart’s desire. It is not a selfish desire unless it is against God’s will. I believe God wants families to be close and supportive to each other.
But the question remains, “Do I love Jesus more than this baby?”
As I rocked Eli to sleep, tears ran down my cheeks onto his. I prayed,
“Father, make my love for Jesus outshine the love I have for Eli.”
Knowing that the Father will answer that prayer, I told my little Eli,
“Precious one, I choose to love Jesus more than I love you. This is for your best. The treasures Jesus will grant our family will abound to the heights of His glory. He will hold you close when I cannot. He will fill my heart to the brim when it is empty of you. We will both be delighted by Him and in Him. You will see that Jesus is all the love you will ever need.”
Somehow I think Eli understood. He snuggled closer and my heart leaped with joy. I knew the strong arms of Jesus were holding us both a bit tighter.
Eli and I had an early 5 AM walk …in our PJs. He fell asleep and I praised the Lord.
Later we went to the mall. He rides in his Baby K’tan so he won’t miss any of the action while singing to everyone he passes.
But he is a male and it wasn’t long before he and his Grandpap pooped out. I left them to find some really cool shoes.
Today has been a day of loving our little man and loving Jesus more for allowing us this day. He is so good to us!
“What the world needs now is Jesus, sweet Jesus. He’s the only thing that …
there’s always enough of…
fills the empty heart up…
How would you finish this song?