By Brandon Headrick
“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father ad mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple: “So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.”
Dreams. Ambitions. Aspirations.
Just the thought of giddy grandeur mystically evaporates any inclination of doubt in my present circumstances. The sights and sounds of my future flutter through my thoughts and create an agenda to be reconciled within this time-share program known as the life. A life of surmounting mixtures of self-indulgences and proclamations of deeds slither into the depths of an ego known to me as “I.”
As much as I would like to live that I am a selfless man, continually searching for the needs of others, and loathing to serve the King of Kings, my words are mere stagnate images of a life loathing for stability. An equilibrium trying to be maintained by balancing social status and spiritual sacrifice only finds its end sinking into the sandy pit on which it rests.
“And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.”
I have found myself at a place of spiritual paralysis. The bullet of restitution remains wedged with in my spinal spiritual cortex. The ammunition of salvation has saved me from myselfbuckled me into submissionand equipped me to wait. As my heart begins to palpate, the emotional endorphins elevate to compensate for the pain that plagues my being. The core of me begins to vanish and what seemed to be deemed worthy of time, space, investment, and sacrifice now stumbles into the light of eternity and fades with its presence. The acquiescence is now complete and as choice no longer lingers, my grip upon the weapon of social suicide slides back into the hands of Jesus.
Throughout the New Testament, whether Peter, Paul, or John a theme of denial, death, suffering, and sacrifice pour from the pages of the Bible. Evidences of suffering and tribulation continually flow from the mouth of the saints of God. So, how about you, Brandon? What about you? When was the last time that you suffered for My Name’s sake? When was the last time you were completely obedient to this life that you have been called into? When was the last time you took a risk on my behalf? In order to follow me, you have to walk the same road that I have walked, a life of faith and obedience and a life of denial and suffering.
The Gospel is a message that cannot be neutered by my dreams and ambitions. What if…
…that beautiful bride, and two-story house (surrounded by a white picket fence) filled with the sounds of little scampering feet never becomes a reality?
…the life that you have been living is all about you?
…everything that you have every dreamt of is put to death by following Me?
This morning, I was awakened to the call of Christ. Losing every dream, achievement and relationship, for the sake of the Gospel terrifies me. The blade of the Gospel penetrates deep. It hurts! It HURTS! IT HURTS! “My God, My God, Why have You forsaken me?” Sad is an understatement for my current emotional status. Possibly lamenting or mourning may hold a little candle to my feelings, but come what may God has called me to something else. Something that my flesh despises, and the Spirit earnestly desires becomes my flesh’s greatest tragedy.
In here lies my flesh’s great depression: “For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul?”
Lord, may I lose my life, and truly know the joy of suffering for the Gospel.
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Brandon grew up in a rural community in Alabama where cows are kept and porches swept.