Only If or Even If

Pastor Daron CrossLife Blog

David Livingstone, a legendary missionary to Africa in the 19th century, sacrificed personal gain for the good of Christ’s kingdom. Once he was contacted by a mission society eager to send a few good men to help Livingstone. They asked if there was a good road to the missionary’s current location.

Livingstone wrote back, “If you have men who will come only if there is a good road, I don’t want them. I want men who will come even if there is no road.”

When Jesus called his first disciples we don’t hear them setting up conditions, like professional athletes configure contracts with one clause after another. “Jesus, I’ll follow you only if I can …”

Jesus set it up this way: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

Actually, followers of Jesus say yes to him with a host of entitlement rights – all based on the promises of Jesus. We inherit the earth. We are filled with righteousness. We will not be harmed. Sins forgiven. Faith empowered. A heavenly home. But we don’t have the right to set ourselves up for convenience according to our own terms. If we want to claim that right, then Jesus should certainly question our commitment.

Even if Jesus calls you to follow into a storm, to follow during a personal crisis, to follow on unknown paths, to follow without treasured possessions … go with him. Put down what you think you need and let him give you more. Lose yourself in his love and leadership, and you will find a new you.

PRAYER: Jesus lead me to leave my selfishness and fears and to live for you in new commitment. Amen.

FURTHER MEDITATION: Spend time with Jesus using the P-R-A-Y acronym:

  • Praise (tell God what you appreciate about him)
  • Repent (tell God about your sins, trust in his promises of forgiveness)
  • Ask (go ahead, think big, or focus on a small detail, God wants to hear it all)
  • Yield (talk to God about the next step after you say “Amen,” how you want faith to lead the way, how you are willing to be part of his answer and see it develop for your good)