My youngest daughter is a hoarder of things. Always carrying around her little box of treasures—toys and trinkets, random household items, even tiny pieces of garbage. Nothing is ever discarded or let go. Everything is precious—and fiercely protected.
It doesn’t matter how old we are, many of us still have a hard time letting go—doing everything in our power to hold on tightly to the things we love. Yet sometimes those very things are exactly what Jesus calls us to leave behind.
“’Come, follow me,’” Jesus said to Simon Peter and Andrew, “’and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed him” Matthew 4:19-20 (NIV).
They left their nets. They walked away from their professions, their families, and everything they had known to follow this man on the adventure of their lives. Jesus may not be calling us to make such radical sacrifices as these—however, He does offer a stark warning; there is a cost to follow the cross.
“Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you cannot be my disciple” Luke 14:33 (MSG, paraphrased translation).
He calls us to make Him our first priority—ahead of spouses and children, professions and plans, and even ahead of ourselves. This is true surrender. This is the mark of true discipleship.
As the new year dawns, what might Jesus be asking you to leave behind? A relationship? A job or career? An attitude or behavior? People or things that are dethroning the King of your heart or leading you down the wrong path?
Whatever it is, Jesus calls you to lay it at the foot of the cross—to follow Him, and only Him—whatever the cost.
Will you let go of it today?