Leaving Everything Behind For Jesus
“Leaving everything behind for Jesus” is a catchy and somewhat dramatic way to say something that is in fact very real. When someone chooses to follow Jesus, it is an eternal and weighty decision. There are repercussions, some seen and others unseen. At Youth With A Mission (YWAM), we regularly see the ripples that are directly linked to one’s determination to make Jesus Lord of their life. Students who go through our Discipleship Training School (DTS) are often met with the beautiful gravity of what they have said “yes” to when they accepted Jesus. The choice to surrender your life to God is a step of trust in response to the invitation of the Gospel. Like any invitation, however, when you say “yes” to one thing, you must say “no” to another.
It Begins With An Invitation
The Gospel is exactly that. An invitation. It is an immeasurably gracious and stunning invitation. The concept of “being saved” is often seen as outdated and archaic. Our modern minds don’t quickly perceive what we must be saved from, and thus Christianity seems like an unnecessary burden. The post-truth worldview allows the conscience to be numbed, which hushes the realities of right and wrong. Today’s culture is defined by voices that do not see truth as fixed or finite. Rather, truth is seen as flexible and customizable. And yet, in the midst of the chaotic spiritual mess of our world, God rests supreme with open arms, unthreatened by our man made belief systems. The Gospel is not just an invitation to be saved from something, it is also an invitation to something unspeakably better! A life of abundance.
It Requires Sacrifice
As mentioned earlier, accepting one invitation means rejecting another. We cannot be at 2 parties at the same time. When you receive the gift of salvation, you are called into a life that looks different. Part of being a Christian means dying with Christ, so that you can live in Him. Leaving everything behind for Jesus, practically, means counting all that the world has to offer as nothing in comparison to what you gain in Christ. Being a Christian means choosing to see the world through God’s eyes, not your own. It means seeing morality, ethics, relationships, money, and life itself through the lens of Scripture. Choosing Jesus requires sacrificing your freedom to live as you want, and instead surrendering to a lifestyle of obedience to the voice of God. Part of the training we offer in YWAM is in response to this reality. DTS students at YWAM Asheville spend an entire week learning the importance of letting Jesus be the Lord of each area of their lives. We cannot be a people that claim allegiance to a King if we are not surrendered to Him in every way.
It Cultivates Trust
In the process of following Jesus, we begin to see His faithfulness unfold in our lives. We see that He honors our sacrifices, and provides for our needs in personal and unique ways. Christianity is a lifelong journey, daily confronted with the option to trust ourselves and the world instead of trusting God. Every time we choose to trust God, we are given peace that surpasses understanding by the Holy Spirit. The Christian who lives a life of dependence on God’s voice will experience supernatural things. It is inevitable. And as you begin to take step after step, in faith, trust in God is cultivated even deeper. He is faithful to those who trust Him.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
It is an Everyday Decision
Each day we are met with new challenges, new excitements, new pains. As the years pass since we chose to leave everything behind for Jesus, the passion in our heart can grow cold. But the love that God has extended to us demonstrates commitment and long-suffering. God chooses us even in our darkest hour. He chooses us regardless of our unreservedness. Because He first loved us in this reckless and glorious way, we are called to live out that kind of love in response. Choosing Jesus isn’t easy. Choosing Jesus doesn’t always feel good. There are days, perhaps years, when choosing comfort, reason, or convenience is much more enticing. It is in this place that we must recall that it is God who can offer us life, TRUE LIFE. Maverick City says it well in their song Love Sick, “There’s no lovesick You won’t heal, and there’s no desperate You won’t fill….A heart that is desperate, only You satisfy it.”
The everyday choice of faith will lead you into a life of blessing, and a heart that is deeply satisfied in your Maker. At the end of your days, may you look back on your choice to follow Him and see that He was worthy of it all.
If you are considering leaving everything behind for Jesus, we are here to tell you He is worth it! If you are ready to take your walk with Him to the next level, apply for the next DTS in just 3 minutes for free. He is a GOOD God and you are invited to spend 5 months focusing just on Him.