by Paul List:
“When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.”
These words are from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book The Cost of Discipleship. When I first read through the Bible, I was struck at the numerous examples of God calling people out of their ordinary lives, and into a strange, foreign and seemingly uncertain life. The Old Testament is full of such examples; Noah, Abraham, Moses, just to name a few. The call to abandon comfort and security does not end with the Old Testament, it continues into the New Testament.
Christ calls secure tax collector Matthew into obscurity. Christ zeroed in on Peter and the other disciples to abandon their routines of fishing nets and to instead follow Him. Not everyone was willing to do so. The rich ruler in Luke 18 could not abandon his estate, he chose creation over the Creator. God is constantly calling every one of us to follow His Son. For everyone it looks a little different.
Not all are called to abandon everything familiar and spend their lives planting churches like the Apostle Paul. Some will be called on to support the missionaries with their resources, like Lydia, the seller of purple in Acts 16. God has a special calling for each and every one of us to die to self, in a variety of ways, and to live intentionally for His glory. Be prayerfully considering how God is calling you to abandon your security, safety and comfort. He promises in Luke 18:29-30, “’I tell you the truth,’ Jesus said to them, ‘no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents of children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.’”
It’s time to search for God’s will in your life. Now is the day to recognize what Jesus has done for you. Empty yourself of pride and selfishness and cry out to the Lord to open the eyes of your heart. Cry out “Abba, Father, show me what I am to do for your kingdom?”
When we die to self, we begin to live for Him.