What’s the one thing that keeps you from total surrender to Christ? What is it that keeps you from being fully persuaded that it’s worth it to abandon all to follow Christ?
Know that, just like you know what you’re holding on to, God also knows.
God is sovereign, and nothing is hidden from him. He knows what’s in the heart of each of us. Psalm 139, a psalm of David, describes God knowing our thoughts and our words even before we speak. He knows us. He knows the one thing. Jesus knew the one thing in the rich young ruler.
And as he we setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven: and come follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Mark 10:17-22 ESV
In his estimation, the young ruler figured he was keeping the commandments, so he felt emboldened to ask Jesus what else he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him to sell his possessions and give to the poor. Why? Because that was the one thing that separated him from being totally surrendered to God.
Selling all your possessions may or may not be what God would tell you, but he does know your one thing. Why is this important? Because God loved with such a great price, namely, the life and death of his Son, to save us from our sins so that we could be reconciled to him through repentance and faith.
Those who would be Christ’s disciples must love him above all else. He must be their greatest treasure; for their hearts are bound up with what they treasure. (Matthew 6:21) In fact, Jesus said:
…If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Matthew 16:24-25 ESV
The rich young ruler did not sell his possessions as Jesus instructed. Instead he left, believing that giving it up was the one thing he could not do.
What’s your one thing?
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Matthew 13:44 ESV