Consider the Cost
There is a high price to pay when a person makes that choice to follow Christ. For me, it took many years to realize that truth.
The first, second, third, trip of many camp experiences I encountered, did not accurately explain what it meant to be a follower of Jesus. Now I’m not bagging on those times because they were absolutely amazing. Growing up in a youth group, going to camp, and mission trips created some of the most intimate friendships and greatest memories. But there was a loss in translation of what it meant to be a Believer.
I was driven by emotional moments, positive pull, highs and lows, feelings and desires. Those were the ingredients that directed my steps and formed my paths. I never had a complete understanding of what it looked like to truly follow Him.
I’ve come to believe that we loosely, and lightly offer alter calls that are hollow. I think we sell a cotton candied version of the Gospel in order to see hands go up. We desperately desire salvation but we package it up in some cheap form of grace. And then, we wonder, what happened at 18, 25, 40….. how did we so easily abandon our first love? How did we become so cynical? How did we desert the very Christ we committed to follow all our days? Because we we never understood the meaning of surrender.
I lost years thinking, and believing I was a follower of Christ. I did the thing and did it well but I never fully laid my life down. I never really put Him on the throne of my life. I mean, surely my ways and my thoughts were good and right. And so I lived this Christian-like existence without ever dying to myself. I never once considered the cost of being a Believer. After all, salvation is a gift, a free gift to all that receive it, right? But the reality is, this free gift of eternal life costs. It costs heavily. It cost you your life.
We have this misunderstanding of the whole Gospel message. We love and embrace Jesus as Savior, and eternal life, but we tend to shy away from the action required. Repent. Turn away. Die to self. They’ve become empty words with little meaning as we ride the coat tails of a partial Gospel.
What is worse, we actually think we are saved because we believe. But believing requires action. Believing and repenting go hand-in-hand. Believing and surrendering become synonymous. Believing is laying down claim to your life and allowing Him to make a new. Believing is allowing the Gospel to reshape us, not our ideas to reshape the Gospel.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live….” The day we say we believe is the day we crucify self and allow that new creation to emerge. We let go and follow even when it goes against our innate human pull. We choose His ways over a dominating culture. We choose Him over ourself. We surrender our will to His even if it means going at it alone for a time.
That is why Jesus challenges us to enter into through the narrow gate. He knows the broad gate is the one most choose to enter because it permits self to dominate. That broad gate allows us to lead the way. My friend, that isn’t Christianity at all.
Consider the cost.