What’s the hardest thing you have ever done? Can you remember the hard days, the hard seasons? I can think of a lot of them.
In Luke 9:51, it says, “When the days drew near to Him to be taken up, He set His face to go to Jerusalem.”
This was going to be a hard season for Jesus; eventually, they would nail Him to a piece of wood and stand it up on the town garbage dump, ridicule Him, spit on Him, mock Him and pull out His beard. My bad days don’t compare, how about you?
We all have our Jerusalems. Hills that we need to die on, and we need to be as resolved as the Rabbi was as He headed toward His hard season.
The older I get — and I’m old, tired and cynical — I find that I procrastinate more and have become less decisive. If I was getting a tattoo today (which I’m not) I might get one that says, “Let a sleeping dog lie.”
What I’m saying is, I work hard to stay out of trouble and avoid drama, but there is something wrong with that, so I’m confessing not bragging.
Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble.” And He told us, “You will be hated by everyone because of me” (Matthew 10:22).
That will make you want to get up in the morning, won’t it?!
What I’m saying is we need to be more intentional concerning the hills we have to die on; we need to go, pursue and be willing. We need to be like Jesus and “Set our faces to go to Jerusalem.”
I had a guy at our church years ago tell me that I scared his wife. I asked him why, and he said, “Because you have convictions.” That was probably one of the nicest things ever said to me (I was younger back then).
At our Sunday evening worship service, a woman told me that she thinks most Christians die unfulfilled. That makes me want to cry, but I get it; we rarely die to ourselves, and therefore, we have no capacity to live for Him (Galatians 2:20, 5:24, Mark 8:35).
Jesus said something fundamental in Matthew 16, starting at verse 24, “Anyone who intends to come to me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-Sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self (please excuse me while I go wake up that sleeping dog and then give pain, suffering and persecution a hug).”
It’s hard, but be a person of discernment and conviction. Don’t be afraid of trouble — according to a Biblical worldview, it’s just another day in the office. So as we stay in hard marriages, go and dig water wells in third world countries, share with a bad neighbor — and when we are not appreciated or if we are even attacked, it’s okay. Go get’em! He told me to tell you that.