We talked about the terrifically difficult things Jesus called others to do in order to follow him this morning in our Bible class. He expected one guy to forget about going home to bury his father, another to give all his money away to the poor, and yet another to "hate his mother and father". Basically, he was telling them they had to completely and totally submit to Him and the will of the Father. It might be that the Father's will would be for those people to actually have and do all those things he was asking them to forgo....but...they had to be willing to give it ALL up for Him. None of the people in those examples were able to follow because they wouldn't take the necessary risks involved in submitting to Christ.
There's only one guarantee....and it's really the only one that matters. By submitting to Him I'm guaranteed a part in the kingdom of God. I'm guaranteed that I have a part in bringing about the age to come....HIS Kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven. I can start living my eternity right now.
The tough thing about submission is the little daily struggles. It's so difficult to submit when things aren't particularly going my way, or, I'm just in a foul mood and don't want to be bothered. Tom Williams put it so perfectly today in Bible class by using an example from the South African Missionary Livingstone and the reporter who went looking for him, Stanley. He said that Stanley asked Livingstone, "How did you survive there in the jungle amidst all the lions and tigers?" Livingstone's reply was, "It wasn't the lions and tigers that bothered us, it was the gnats."
So true. Time to face another week full of "gnats".