Rich young ruler

In Radical by David Platt, he discusses the story of the rich young ruler.  You know the story: The rich young ruler asks Jesus how to have eternal life.  Jesus tells him to follow the law.  Self-righteous rich young ruler claims to have obediently followed the law his entire life.  So Jesus cuts to the chase of his idolatry: “Go sell all you have and give to the poor…and come follow me.”  But the rich young ruler “went away grieving, for he owned much property” (Mark 10).

Platt then points out that many of us find relief in the idea that his command is not universal: Jesus is not commanding all of us to give away all of our possessions.  However, he quotes Robert Gundry:

That Jesus did not command all his followers to sell all their possessions gives comfort only to the kind of people to whom he would issue that command.

Ouch. I think I am one of those “kind of people.” It may not be money, it may be unhealthy relationships, or food, or pornography, or whatever. But Jesus is after our idols, our false gods–the things we turn to for comfort and security. He wants all of our hearts, because he knows that’s what’s best for us. When we live a fully surrendered life, we truly live. The life of faith is so much bigger.

Lord, I don’t want to live a shriveled life chasing false security. Lord, give me the strength to trust you with everything! In Jesus’ name.

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A Different Spirit

“But because my servant Caleb as a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it” (Numbers 14:24)

Cultivating this “different spirit” of wholehearted devotion to the Lord is so difficult in today’s culture.  I watched a John Stossel video with my 6th period class yesterday about being famous.  They cited a study–most young people today would rather be a personal assistant to a celebrity than be a Senator or a CEO of a corporation.  They did “man on the street” interviews where they asked people two questions:  1) Who cured polio?; and 2) Who was Nicole Richie’s best friend?  Among older people, some knew Jonas Salk, and many didn’t know Paris Hilton. (I didn’t even know who Nicole Richie was; I had to find out from the video.)  But among the young, nobody knew who cured polio, but almost everyone knew who Nicole Richie’s best friend was.

Our media-obsessed culture, in which we vicariously live our lives through celebrities we have never met, is destroying meaning and significance in our lives.  How does a Christian live in this culture with a “different spirit?”

What Caleb did is that he saw his circumstances through God’s eyes.  He saw the same fortified cities and giants in the land they were supposed to conquer.  But He and Joshua argued with those who were afraid:

“Do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up.  Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us.  Do not be afraid of them” (Num 14:9).

He trusted the Lord to intervene in his circumstances, and acted on it.  He put himself in situations where he would be in trouble if the Lord didn’t act.  Not recklessly so, but out of obedience to God.  He remembered what God had done in the past, and trusted him to do it again.

Lord, help me to walk wholeheartedly before you.  Lord, I want to listen to your voice, and see my circumstances through your eyes.  Increase my faith.  Put a different spirit within me.  As I read the stories of your intervention and deliverance, give me the faith to believe that you will do it again.  Thank you for repeatedly doing it again in my own life.  In Jesus’ name.

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