“Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ He said. ‘Go sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.’ At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had
great wealth.” Mark 10:21-22
One of the many life lessons that thirty years of marriage has taught me is that you don’t make it to thirty years without emptying yourself and going all in. Day by day and year by year, my precious wife, Sharon, and I learned that “me” doesn’t become “we” without both of us putting everything we are and have on the table. This is true of our journey with God as well.
Jesus emptied Himself of all the glories of heaven to come to us and for us that first Christmas. For me to become His, I must also empty myself. As David Nasser (senior vice president for spiritual development at Liberty University) writes, the call to Christ is a call to die. Sometimes, like the young man in Mark 10:17-31, we’re willing to go 50/50 or maybe a little higher. Jesus named 6 of the 10 commandments and the young man was keeping all of them. Jesus then more or less referenced the first commandment which is “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:3) For the young man, his wealth was the “god” he had put before God. Jesus loved him and was all in for him but the young man decided he didn’t want to “marry” God after all. In a sense, he just wanted to “date” Him.
How about you? Sooner or later, God will ask you to empty yourself of something you don’t want to let go of. It could be anger, addiction, selfishness, materialism or unforgiveness. It could be rude behavior, a critical spirit or a victim mentality. Whatever it is, it has become your “god” because you value holding on to it more than fully embracing Him. Remember, Jesus didn’t walk away, the young man did. Jesus is still standing there, inviting you to have a fully committed, nothing held back, relationship with Him. You are loved!