To the rich young ruler who already lived a good life following all the rules, Jesus said, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (Matt 19:21)
I find it interesting how he is told to first let go of what is most important to him before Jesus says, “Come, follow me”. We have to” let go” in order to whole heartedly “come”. This young man needed to surrender his personal idol, money, before he had the ability and heart to worship Jesus.
We were created to worship and whether it is conscious or not, we live our lives with our knees bent towards God or away from Him worshipping lesser gods. Call it success, work, addiction, accomplishment, survival, etc- how we live shows who or what we worship. These counterfeits only weigh us down, they are a disguise of Satan whose goal is to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10) The first step of “come” is to release and walk away from our idols.
Many of us try to follow without first letting go. We are giving our best to chase after Jesus, but the baggage is so terribly heavy our backs ache, our legs tire and we lose heart. Why is this journey so difficult?!
“Take my yoke upon you, for my burden is easy and my yoke is light.” (Matt 11:29)
Adam and Eve started their existence in the presence and communion of God, yet they were still deceived. I have been deceived as well, convinced I needed to make everyone happy (fear of man) or prove myself with accomplishment (pride) or keep everything under control (fear). I can’t come full speed and open hearted with these idols dragging behind me. When I stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit, He checks my baggage and brings to light what is holding me back. Often I am completely unaware of what I packed! The further I journey with Jesus the lighter my luggage has become. I switched my suitcase for a backpack and found the freedom refreshing. I didn’t want to lug around guilt, bitterness, rejection, worry or fear anyways- they just weighed me down. Besides, they NEVER would fit in the overhead bin!