"Whosoever will - let him!" Jesus never demanded that men become His disciples. He taught the multitudes that "if anyone DESIRES to come after Me, LET HIM deny Himself." Discipleship is for those who DESIRE it! I have too often mistakenly attempted to make disciples out of those who were not "desiring"or "willing" to follow after Christ. My bad!!! Why did I not see that denying oneself makes no sense apart from a strong desire to follow Christ? Jesus then, and now, is very willing to "let" men do whatever they "desire". IF we desire to save our life, He will let us have it our way - He will not stop us from losing the opportunity to find His life. For all those "DESIRING" to come after Him and "DESIRING" to lose our life to become His disciples - He will help us find it. Jesus came to set men free from sin- not to force men to Himself. If we want Jesus to leave us alone - He will let us go our way and do whatever we choose. He is Lord and King - but He is not a dictator! All His subjects are His by their own FREE WILL!If we don't want to pray - He will let us do things without praying. If we want to be busy and not set aside time to build our relationship with Him, He will let us fill our days with whatever we choose. He simply explains that our hearts only have room for so much affection and that our focus determines the amount of light we have; but, He allows it to be our own choice based upon whatever we desire. If we want to make the effort to assemble with fellow believers, He will encourage us to; but if we do not think it is important enough to set aside a time to assemble with other believers - He lets us do whatever we think is more profitable. He might stop by for a visit if we are out of fellowship with Him, but He will always knock - He won't force His way into our home or heart. If we open the door He will come in for fellowship, but if we're too preoccupied, He will quietly slip away. When you stop to think about it - Jesus will always let us do whatever we want. Jesus has no desire to force men to become disciples - what a wonderful thought! Hmmm ... how Strange - that a truth so wonderful to those who DO DESIRE to come after Him ... will actually be so horrible for the many who DO NOT DESIRE IT!
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
True words indeed.The million dollar question that then follows is this - How do you increase your desire to become His disciple (or the 'want to'')? Indeed, what does one do if one cannot sincerely say that one 'desires to' follow Him, but can say that one 'desires to desire to' (if that makes sense)?Answers on a postcard.
A truly precious word. This helped re-orient my mind right at the time I was speaking about Christ to a few of our neighbors. I found it to be a good perspective to guide our gospel.
Convicting word. Thank you Alan.To my shame I have so often yielded to unbelief and the flesh instead of drinking from the water of life. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life (zoe life), and have it abundantly" (John 10:10). May I gain Christ and be found in Him.