In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. Luke 14:33
I’m past the point of believing Christian life is a formula and if you just do everything the right way you’ll be blessed, loved, saved.
The truth is God just wants me – all of me.
He’s for my eternal good. My forever.
He sees the big picture and knows what will destroy me and because He loves me, He will never say yes to it.
But I can choose it.
And I have.
And suffered consequences and asked God why.
He’s waiting to give and bless but I must open my hands.
I can’t receive with a clenched fist.
Clenched around a heart that wants protection more than love.
Clenched with unforgiveness and things I won’t let go.
I’m not convinced His way is best.
The underlying feeling is my ways are better.
If I surrender, I won’t get what I want.
“Who then, Elizabeth do you say I am?”
Do I really believe He is good, faithful, just or are they words I say?
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Does He really have hope and a future?
What if it’s not the future I want and plan?
Am I willing to give up my dreams for His will and way?
It’s not about doing more – it’s about surrender.
Surrendering my ways for His.
Surrendering my ideas and life – what I want for what He has.
“Come follow Me” is the invitation.
He warns it won’t be easy.
He warns to count the cost.
So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:33
Renounce all I have.
Whatever I place before God must go.
I believe the reason Western Christianity doesn’t satisfy is because it’s often soft.
The truth isn’t warm and fuzzy.
It doesn’t fill seats or sell books.
It implies I can have it all – I can follow Christ without sacrifice.
I’m okay, you’re okay.
I say a prayer and continue with life as usual.
Christ as a co-pilot.
In case of emergency, break glass.
I can’t understand why my faith is dry and stale.
The entire emphasis is on believe but no one says much about follow.
Scripture gets twisted into a measuring stick.
Christianity becomes about what I do, not whose I am.
If I look like you and do what you do, I’m good.
Jesus died to set me free – yet there are verses I can’t get around.
Scripture describing what it means to follow Jesus saying things like “give all you have to the poor” “take up your cross” “renounce all that he has”
And me, church going, Bible studying, Jesus loving me is left to wonder….
What does it mean to really follow Christ?
The more I experience the radical love of Jesus, the more I want.
I don’t want to stay on the shore or sit on the sidelines and cheer for Bible heroes and missionaries in far away places.
I want to get in the game and make a kingdom difference.
I want to live the radical love of Jesus in ways those who don’t know Him want to know more – not because I speak of hell – but because through the cracks and broken places of my life, they experience the love of a Savior.
Crazy love that doesn’t add up or fit in.
Not an artificial, manufactured plan of “shoulds”.
Radical Jesus love producing a radical life.
What does that look like – for me – Liz Petruzzi – in my everyday mom-to-Joe life?
This isn’t about guilt or works but authentic, messy, imperfect, life changing faith.
Love that brings the kingdom from up there to down here.
I don’t think it’s a one size fits all answer but a life long process of being clay.
Allowing the Lord to mold me and cut away what doesn’t work.
Living in authentic ways.
Trusting Him to do the work.
He uses different vessels to fulfill His purposes.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Made for good works planned in advance.
I need not strive or attempt to become something I’m not.
Jesus is the carpenter who uses broken instruments to build His kingdom.
This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us – an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through hard times (suffer) with Him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with Him. Romans 8:15-17 Msg