‘Teacher,’ he declared, ‘all these I have kept since I was a boy.’ Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.” (Mark 10:17-22 NIV)
The problem with asking the Lord a question is you may not get the answer you are expecting, which is exactly what happened to the rich young man. It is always risky to ask the Lord what we need to do or how we should be living our lives. For this young man, he came to the Lord with a desire to gain eternal life. And I think he was elated when Jesus recited some of the Ten Commandments. He declared with confidence, “All these I have kept since I was a boy.” But his confidence quickly evaporated when Jesus told him what else he needed to do. Giving away his wealth was more than he was willing to do. But you have to admire him; at least he asked the question.
I think many of us today are afraid to ask the Lord how we should be living. We would rather assume we are doing just fine than to hear the truth, which we will always hear from Jesus because He loves us. It is easier to continue in that relationship, to pursue a certain career track, or just to keep living the way we’ve always lived than to seek out the Lord’s direction. The truth is He might tell us that in following Him we have to end the relationship, adjust the vision for our career, or change how we live our daily lives. So we would just as soon not ask. The answers are too scary and costly, just as they were to the rich young man.
But ask we must if we want to obey and follow Jesus. How else are we going to know and go where He wants to lead us? His answers may surprise and even frighten us, but we must trust that He loves us and has our best interests in mind.
Today, it is likely there are things in your life that the Lord wants you to surrender to Him for your own benefit. It may not be wealth, but something else that is holding you back from fully following Jesus. Take the risk and ask this question: Lord, what must I do? You may not get the answer you want, but it will be the answer you need.
© Jim Musser 2015