June 12, 2018
- By Ed Powell
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"And as he passed by, he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him." Mark 2:14
Jesus was in the beginning of His ministry performing miracles of healing and meeting the needs of the people when He confronts Levi [Matthew] and says to him, "Follow me." Matthew had seen Christ minister to the people and saw in Him the "hope" that his heart longed for, the One sent from God. He immediately leaves his post, follows the Lord, and becomes one of His disciples. What does it mean to follow Him and be His disciple?
Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. We think we have to do exceptional things for God. We do not. We have to be exceptional in ordinary things and holy in difficult circumstances among difficult people. Jesus said, "I have chosen you." We can disobey His call, but we can't generate it. He supernaturally draws us to Himself by the Holy Spirit. But what qualifies a person to be a disciple? This perplexes many people. Actually, our nothingness! There's nothing within us that qualifies us to be "chosen by God" and be His disciple.
Only as we come in our "nothingness," in complete dependence upon Him, can God clothe us with "His sufficiency." Why? So that no flesh should glory in His presence. "For of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is unto you wisdom and righteousness and redemption. That according as it is written, he that glories, let him glory in the Lord." God is not interested in "who" we are or "what" we have or the "gifts" we possess. He who calls us to walk, to live, and to serve will also equip us in all things, so that we may be fruitful in our service and glorify Him in our life. How quickly we forget that.
Saul illustrates this very thing. Read Saul's attitude by what he says to Samuel: "Certainly God will be pleased if I bring the 'best' of all the Amalekites, the king, and all that was good and sacrifice them unto God." But look closely at Saul's thinking. Saul called "good" what God condemned. He wanted to sacrifice to God that which God hated. Saul usurped the authority and sovereignty of God by doing it "his way." He disregarded God's command by inserting his own will. And what was Samuel's answer to Saul? "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, to hearken than the fat of rams." OBEDIENCE must take precedence in all of our actions.
We do not want to submit our will to the control and authority of God; we insist on doing things "our" way. The last thing we want to let go of...is the control of our will. Simple obedience is "submission and surrender to His will." To be a disciple begins with the Lord being in control of all. Someone has wisely said, "If Christ is not the Lord of all, He is not the Lord at all." It is not natural for us to surrender our will, that's why discipleship is "supernatural," the result of the Holy Spirit probing our hearts and drawing us unto Christ. He melts and molds our lives that we might be channels through which His Spirit can flow fully. If we are to follow Christ, we must walk according to His leading and be submissive to His will. There is no better or more blessed path than walking under His Lordship!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?row=&date=2018-06-12
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