…whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:33
Here we see the absoluteness of discipleship. The demands of Christ in discipleship are simple – He expects total, undeviating devotion. This should not be surprising, since it is the very same way that He loves the Father. The declaration of His demands always strikes to the very heart of our priorities, and reveals other things to which we are bound. A fanatic is not devoted to Christ, but to the idea of Christ. Obedience to a cause is always easier than obedience to Christ, since we can plan our approach to promoting a cause. Obedience to Christ, however, is under His Lordship. Disciples know that their heart state must be consistent with their claims of devotion. But His claims are so absolute that they are impossible to attain by human devotion alone. Any reader of the New Testament will quickly conclude that, before Pentecost, the disciples failed in their devotion. Fear and self-preservation gripped them, and they failed. Admission of failure and its causes is the first step in true discipleship. Before we face up to this, we live in a delusion of our own abilities, and we are headed for a fall. God’s work is to bring us to be truly disciples, and the first step is to bring us to brokenness and awareness of His power.
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