I start by laying down an important foundation.
Jesus, who is “… the way, the truth and the life …” (John 14:6) said that anyone who wants to follow Him and do His work must willingly chose to give up everything they trust in and be devoted to Him alone (Luke 14:33, Matthew 16:24 and Mark 8:3). Coming to the place where we willingly choose to let go of everything we love and follow the Lord is clearly communicated in both the Old and New Testaments.
A young man was told to sell all he owned and then follow Jesus, “… sell everything you have and give to the poor… Then come, follow me” (Luke 18:22). While Elisha, “… took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant” (1 Kings 19:21).
Where else in the Bible is this idea found?
It’s vitally important that we come to the point where we willingly, not under compulsion, let go of chasing the way of the world (1 John 2:15-17) to know the Lord and do His work (Luke 24:44-53 and Acts 1:8). This bold step is important because without it, we cannot be truly human, we cannot be truly Christian.
Jesus teaches us about these two ways of living in the Book of Matthew where he says, “… wide is the gate and broad is the road … small is the gate and narrow the road …” (Matthew 7:13-14). The wide gate and broad road is the easiest and most popular road. It is the road of loving the world and it’s ways more than His. In comparison, the small gate and narrow road is the hardest and least popular. It is the road of giving up everything that we place above our Creator to follow Him.
The end of the wide road is self evidence – death. Whereas the end of the thin road is the opposite – life.
Here are some facts related to living with this mindset of abandoning everything for Gods cause.
1.) It’s difficult to accept this way of living.
2.) It takes a long time to accept this way.
3.) The circumstances that God uses to lead us into such a condition can differ from person to person.
4.) Our faithfulness changes from one moment to the next.
5.) The Lord is faithful to us and will keep working in our lives so that we willingly chose to abandon all worldly pleasures to know Him and do His work.
Have you reached the point of letting go of all things to cling onto Christ?
How did you reach it?
If you were there at one point in your life, what happened that you are no longer there?
Let’s move onto Christian Teachers and Preachers.
I laid this foundation because I don’t want anyone to think that coming to the place of reckless abandon is only for those who want to teach and preach the Bible in a public way. This way is for everyone.
However, this step is one of the first vital steps that someone must take if they want to be effective at the work of publicly communicating God’s truth.
Whether you are being paid by a church to teach and preach the gospel, or if you are doing it part time while working another job, or if you have never stood in front of a crowd and opened your mouth with the words from the Bible. Whoever you are, if you want to do the work of speaking the message of God as shown in the whole Bible then you HAVE to come to the place where you willingly, not under compulsion, let go of chasing the way of the world (1 John 2:15-17) to know the Lord and speak his words (Luke 24:44-53 and Acts 1:8).
This bold step is important because without it a Christian teacher and preacher cannot speak Gods words effectively.
The reasons why the step of self abandonment is vital are self evidence. Some of them are:
1.) A teacher and preacher of Gods word needs to know Him in order to speak about Him.
2.) A teacher and preacher of Gods word needs to be focused on the work of speaking His message, in order to do it well.
3.) A teacher and preacher of Gods word needs to be submitted to the will of God in order to access the power of God.
In my life God has brought me to the place of complete abandonment to the ways of the world through many different ways. He has used the love of people to love me with His love, which has led to a willing surrender to His ways. He has used suffering to strip me of self sufficiency and purify my motive for knowing Him and speaking His words. He has used experiential times in His presence to reveal Himself to me, which has led to a willing surrender to His ways. He has used long and short times in His word to help me understand who He is, which has led to a willing surrender to His ways. Among others the Lord has used my growing understanding of the meaninglessness of life to lead me to willingly chose to give up the pursuit of earthly pleasures and know him and speak His words.
Reflective Questions for teachers and preachers:
Have you come to the point of surrender?
Have you willingly chosen to give up everything in order to Know God and Speak His words?
I pray that you will.
1.) All Bible references are from the NIV translation.