“After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. ‘Follow me,’ Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.” Luke 5:27
This is a story of a scoundrel who was making a lot of money by cheating people and kissing up to the Roman occupying government. He turned on a dime (a denari) and changed his life, leaving behind wads of cash and any chance to return to that lucrative occupation. Contrast this with the young, rich leader who just couldn’t part with his stuff, his gods.
To fully follow Jesus there can be nothing in our lives that is more important than wholehearted apprenticeship to his teaching, his ways, and his love, for we must love Him with ALL our heart, soul, and strength.
If Jesus invited me right now to walk with Him, would I follow as Levi did? Would I make the split second decision to leave everything behind to pursue Him? Or would there be that one thing that I would not be able to abandon, leaving him to leave me behind as he left the rich young ruler?
Jesus walked on. He didn’t beg. He didn’t wait.
If I leave anything and everything to follow Him, I can know for certain that the joy and fulfillment, the pleasure and the adventure will be far superior to anything I’ve found on my own. That’s a covenant guarantee. Jesus’ purpose for coming to redeem us was that our joy would be complete and His joy would live in us. Joy is the aim of life in Him. Joy is calling me today, but it is calling me to leave behind the stuff that tempts me with tentative, temporal pleasure.
Jesus, You are calling my name this very moment. Give me courage to let go of the little gods I hold dear, little gods that can offer me much of nothing, only diminishing returns. Let there be nothing in my grasp that I cling to but Your hand. And let’s walk this road together, You and I. I have so many needs and so much to learn, and You have so much to offer — all wisdom, counsel, and knowledge is Yours. And as of today, I am Yours, too. Make something of my life. Amen.