Christian Living

How Tight is Your Hold?


A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, 26“If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.  Luke 14:25-27 NLT

How tightly do you hold what God has given you?  God’s blessings are to enjoy, but when we hold them too tightly, they can become curses or idols.  Even simple things, if held too tightly, will come between us and God. 

Is coffee an idol in your life?  Before you laugh, think about it.  Is Starbucks a “fix” you can’t imagine living without?  When you get up in the morning, is the day just not begun for you until you smell the aroma and have that first cup?  Would you be all out of sorts without it? 

What about the things and/or people around you and the affiliations you have that you feel define you?  Would you be the same person without them?  What if God asks you to let them go? 

Do you hold your family too tightly?  Even though we know in our heads they belong to God first, our hearts sometimes tell a different story.  Do you put them above your devotion to God, or do you stand firm when His way is challenged in your home?  Parents, if your children have walked away from you because you didn’t compromise your beliefs that are based on the Bible, God’s word says you will be blessed in the end for it, and perhaps your child’s soul will be rescued.  I recently read a story about a father who watched his young son tortured, and then they were crucified together because they were Christians.  These are very hard things to think about, but we must.  We must define how far we are willing to go to follow Christ now, or we will fail the test should we be called upon to truly suffer for Him.  Do you stay away from church because weekends are family time?  Are you diligent about their spiritual training and fellowship with other Christians who are intentional about following Christ?

What about your own devotional time?  Do you have little or no time for personal devotions because other things (tv, facebook, etc.) crowd your schedule?

These and others like them are personal issues best decided between God and the individual, but if we are truly about following Christ above all else, we must ask ourselves the hard questions, always mindful that following Him is about denying ourselves and taking up our cross. 

I am sure I have not even scratched the surface of ways we intentionally or not nudge God out of our lives, but we all need to be vigilant.  We have an enemy on the prowl the Bible describes as a “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).  When God is not on the throne of our lives, it doesn’t really matter what pushed Him out, does it?  Let’s all look at the areas of our lives Satan might be trying to leverage and make sure they are fully in God’s control.

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