Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord but let me first say farewell to those in my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” — Luke 9:61-62

Life. It isn’t mine. It doesn’t belong to me and it surely shouldn’t be made about me. When we choose to follow Jesus, we lose a life we once had in order to surrender and submit to the life He has for us.

If you have ever served alongside me, there is a chance you may have the words, “its not about you” come out of my mouth. While serving on mission trips in Honduras, it almost becomes the laughable punch line when someone wants to complain (and man, is it easy to find things to complain about.) Last year, we had access to a pool at the camp site where we were staying. When I say the water was cold, it truly is an understatement. This was like mountain water on crack. Its the type of cold that takes your breath away, makes your lips turn purple and your leg hair grow back instantly. Not going to lie- I wanted to stay as far away from that pool as possible but the orphans we took to camp that year- they wanted to spend HOURS in that pool, so guess what- we jumped in. It may seem silly or small, but those girls wanted US in the pool with them- and for the rest of the week as we jumped in we shouted “for the kids.” Our perspective shifted off of ourselves and our obligation to opportunity. This may be a story from last summer, but it happens within our lives on the daily.

“I really wish I could just stay at home tonight instead of going to set up chairs in a hot gym – but it’s not about me. I have 25 better things to do than serve other people who I don’t feel deserve it- but it’s not about me. I really don’t want to love my spouse after they did that to me – but it’s really not about me. Is it really necessary to sit and listen to this person talk about their life for 30 minutes – it’s not about me.” I am sure you can fill in the blank.

The moment we choose to follow Jesus, we lose our life in order to follow him. Luke 17:33 says, “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will surely lose it, but whoever loses their life will keep it.” To be honest, this verse makes me feel indifferent. More times than not, I think about hanging on to the sin nature of my life, and how easy it would be to live recklessly and selfishly in my sin. This verse is asking us to do the opposite of that. When we lose our reckless, sin nature lives, we find life in HIM. Abundant and eternal life. Its not easy to follow Jesus. You may not see the reward right now. You may feel tired and worn out. My friend, hang in there, because Jesus is worth it, and his people are worth it. He gives life to the weary and the broken hearted and my prayer for you is that He would resurrect that in you today.

A time must come when we move from obligation to opportunity. We live in such a place of entitlement that we are blinded by the opportunity that sits in front of us. We feel like we deserve a reward or something in return for following Jesus before we can serve other people and if we selfishly wait for a reward, we will constantly miss our opportunity. Opportunity to love and serve people who are broken and hurting in this world. A place where I once was before I knew Jesus. Luke 9:62  “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” There is no room to look back to your old life, your sin nature, your life of obligation and entitlement. There is a dying world out there, and if our eyes are constantly looking to what could be or what could have been then we can’t follow Jesus fully.

As much as you may want this life to be fully yours, it isn’t. It belongs to the One who created it. My prayer for you reading this is that you would surrender your life fully to the great calling that our sweet Father has placed on you to follow Him. Count the true cost of knowing Him and knowing His people and that you would move from a place of obligation to opportunity.