Image by Frits Ahlefeldt
While reading the word today I saw two perspectives that correspond to two different out comes.
The first is one regarding the rich man:
And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.1
The second is the buried treasure or fine pearl.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.2
The perspectives are opposites with one focused on how great the cost is and the other focused on how great the prize is. Does the focus determine the outcome? What shall I focus on; the cost or the gift? My struggle is that I’ve weighed the cost and I don’t have what is needed. I find myself left wanting. I don’t see myself as being able to make the journey. In the flesh I could muster all I have and hope that it is enough. My experience tells me it is not. I am at the point just after the rich man walks away and the disciples ask Jesus, “How then can anyone be saved?”3 If I can only take hold of Jesus’ answer I’ll have what I need because there is no other way. All in or walk away?
This isn’t news to me, I’ve heard all this before. I made a choice. I get it, why am I faced with this again? Is it possible this is what goes on each time I find myself in opposition to God – like when the Holy Spirit convicts me of sin. Do I just not notice because sometimes the cost isn’t too great because I’m focused on the prize? If so why has my perspective changed? What has distracted me to take my eyes off of the Lord? Has He withdrawn from me to show me I’m lost without him? Is this a time of discipline? Or is this perhaps a time when He is close because I’m in the fire being set free?
I feel disconnected and I’ve lost a taste for the things of this world. I don’t know how to relate to my wife and children. I don’t know if its always been this way and I’m just now aware of it or if its something new.
I have hope this is for a time and God is preparing me for what is to come. I have hope He is preparing me to receive the desires of my heart.
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.4