How to Forsake Everything and Follow Jesus

I have seen ladies cry on their wedding day. The thought of leaving their parents to spend the rest of their lives with their husband overwhelms them.

The same is true with believers. For Jesus to become our husband and not just someone we are dating, we have to leave everything and be joined to Him.

No husband wants a wife who is married to him half-heartedly. Likewise, Jesus wants us to be fully His. He made it clear that those who want to follow Him MUST deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him.

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24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Matthew 16:24

He also insisted that whoever wants to follow Him must first count the cost.

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

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Luke 14:28-30, 33

By choosing to be a follower of Jesus, you have to surrender all things to Him. By all things I mean ALL, tangible and intangible.

See what John says about it…

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.

1st John 2:15

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The world and all things in it will pass away but the word of God will remain forever. Giving up all things for Jesus simply means letting Christ come between you and your earthly possessions.

You will still own a house but under the instruction of Christ. You will still be married to your spouse but you get direction from Christ and not your own thinking.

That is how Jesus becomes ‘Lord’ of your life. You stop spending money as you want and begin spending according to how Jesus wants you to spend it.

Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians that the body of the wife belongs to the husband (1st Corinthians 7:4). Sarah called Abraham her lord (1st Peter 3:6). It is all about giving up all things to Jesus.

Jesus at one time mentioned that a man cannot serve two masters. He will love one and hate the other. He then made it clear that a man cannot serve God and money.

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Today, you can clearly see how many people have chosen money to be their lord. They give up everything just to get money.

A prostitute on the street doesn’t mind the shame she gets provided she earns money. Others go ahead to kill all in the name of getting money.

We as believers ought to have greater commitment to Christ than the world has to money. You have heard of 24 hour economies where people work non-stop for money. For believers, we are to walk in God’s will 24 hours a day.

Overcoming Resistance to Jesus’ Lordship

The idea of giving up everything in life to the Lordship of Christ comes with its own challenges. Many believers struggle to give their full control to Jesus.

Some may trust Him to lead them in choosing how they dress but they deny Him control over how they spend their free time.

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The uncertainty that comes with giving up control is challenging to many believers. Unless you have truly experienced Jesus, it is difficult to give your entire life to Him.

The disciples of Jesus gave up their fishing to become fishers of men. When Christ called, they left everything as it was and went after Him.

Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

Matthew 19:27

But that was only possible because they had seen a miraculous catch of fish. Paul preached with zeal because He had an encounter with Jesus that propelled him. Moses agreed to go back to Egypt only after God performed miracles for him at the burning bush.

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For any believer to fully trust Jesus with their lives, they must have an encounter. The stronger the encounter, the greater the conviction to trust Jesus.

Once you have encountered Jesus, don’t look back like Lot’s wife. Jump into the new realm and keep digging deeper.

God will give you more encounters to usher you into deeper levels in Him. Peter still denied association with Jesus after having walked with Him throughout His ministry. But then when he encountered the Holy Spirit, his commitment was renewed.

You will receive your Reward

God knew that men would struggle to surrender to Him unless they were sure of a reward. The Bible has a considerable number of incidences that show the faithfulness of God for us to trust Him.

Jesus makes it clear that whoever has left everything to follow Him will receive a reward both in this life and in the life to come.

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And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.

Matthew 19:29

God will reward you for every single act of righteousness you do. He is that faithful. Remember the story of Cornelius?

One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!” Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. 

Acts 10:3-4

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God still insists on His faithfulness to those who choose to serve Him through the author in Hebrews…

10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

Hebrews 6:10

A worker is worth his wages and a man reaps what he sows. The word is clear on that.

Therefore, be assured that giving your entire life to God is not a waste. The devil has worked hard to make serving God look like a boring life.

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The reality is that it is the sweetest life. The benefits are innumerable. Have you not read what David says, ‘The Lord prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies?’ Can a man ever prepare sweeter food than what God can prepare?

It is also not written that no eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind has conceived what God has in store for those who love Him? What then stops you from surrendering all to Jesus and receiving these great promises?

Let us surrender all things to Jesus because He alone is our Lord. He makes us eat fish until seven baskets remain. He provides manna and quails when we are in the wilderness.

He causes us to eat of the delicacies of Pharaoh even when we are supposed to be killed. When we need to pay taxes, Jesus commands the mouths of fish to give us money. What can’t He do?

All that is required of us is….

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12 And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?

Deuteronomy 10:12-13

God bless you!

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