Luke 9 is one of the most packed chapters in all the Gospels. So many things are happening: the commissioning of the 12, feeding 5,000, Peter’s great confession, the transfiguration, casting out demons…and that’s only about half of the topics presented. But tucked away, in close to the middle of all these amazing stories, Jesus gives a simple but profound invitation:
Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?
Murdered missionary Jim Elliot echoed this truth: “He is no fool to give up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Like this chapter, our lives are packed with so many things. So many sorrows, fears, anxieties, desires, ambitions, plans, hopes, and dreams… Sometimes their noise of pushing and pulling is so deafening, they drown out Jesus’ daily invitation in the midst of this holding on to this life.
What are you carrying that only the strong shoulders of Jesus were meant to carry?
What are you holding so fiercely to in fear that you believe letting go can only mean disaster?
Relinquish control – even in the places you are most afraid.
Empty yourself of Self and make room for what “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9).