Summary: I believe that one of the most difficult truths for us to accept is the fact that we are not yet ready to follow the Lord Jesus into certain Situations, Places or Circumstances. Here Jesus spells out what It actually means to ‘take up one’s cross daily in
I believe that one of the most difficult truths for us to accept is the fact that we are not yet ready to follow the Lord Jesus into certain Situations, Places or Circumstances. Ah yes, in our hearts we really do believe that we are ready to confront any or everything in the spirit-world; but in reality our faith or lack thereof, if allowed to proceed, would hinder the move of God or do damage to the cause of Christ. And the continuing Ministry of Christ and His Church in this present world is much too important to overlook this inadequacy of our faith, or this inconsistency in our insistence. Not-Yet-Ready-Disciples!
One of the places in Scripture where this truth is spelled out in clear and unmistakable terms is in the Gospel of Luke 9:57-62. Here Jesus spells out what It actually means to ‘take up one cross daily in following Jesus.’ I believe this passage is relating the fact that the One who has set His face like a firm stone to go to Jerusalem has no bargains to offer. Let’s read verses 57-58. In other words Jesus says to the first volunteer, “I am totally dependent on the hospitality of others; are you willing to be?” Let’s read verses 59-60. To the second prospective disciple Jesus says, “Loyalty to Me takes precedence over a primary parental obligation.” Let’s read verses 61-62. In His words to the third volunteer Jesus says, “I expect more from you than Elijah asked of Elisha.”
In all three responses, Jesus is indicating His claim to priority over the best of human relationships not the worst. Jesus never said to choose Him over the devil but to choose Him over the family. And that is one of the primary places that we are not yet ready to follow the Lord Jesus. Listen again to the words of Christ in Matthew 10:37-38.
Often-times in the earthly arena, people are admitted entrance into certain places, situations or circumstances based solely upon who they are and the importance or influence they possess. But not so in the kingdom and economy of God. None of us are so important that our mere presence will admit us into certain situations with Jesus. It is not by our might, nor by our power, but by the Spirit of God and the faith of Jesus Christ. And we must look past our feelings and positions of power and prestige to the glory of God when Jesus says ‘No’ to us going certain places with Him. For there are certain places spiritually into which we are not yet ready to go. And if we were allowed to go, we would cause damage. We must recognize the fact that as the Good Shepherd, Jesus knows at what level we are spiritually and what we are capable of receiving, processing and handling. And so for our own good and his glory, sometimes Jesus says ‘No.’ ‘He suffered no man to follow Him.’
For instance, not everyone has the gift of discerning spirits and casting out demons. And if you were permitted entrance into that situation, what you would see and experience would scare you half to death and cause your feet to sprout wings! Or, if your faith is weak in God’s ability to heal without human hands or helps, your unbelief would hinder the operation of the Spirit in that regard. So, to spare us the pain and embarrassment of rebuke and faith-failure, the Lord does not allow us to enter that situation. ‘He suffered no man to follow Him.’