But God, I Have Buts (Luke 7 Woman: Diary Entry #9)
“she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. 38 Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.” Luke 7:37-38
I often wondered what went through the minds of the disciples when Jesus asked them to follow him. I would also like to point out that Jesus never ordered them to do anything. Everything he proposed, was just that, a proposal for them to decide what to do next. Anyway, I digress. If Jesus walked over to you today and asked you to follow him, would you be able to drop everything and go?
Me? Jesus wants me to follow him? Of course, I will! But, let me go and do one thing first. By the time you turn around to go and run the errand, or do whatever you had planned; Jesus is already gone. He requires reckless abandon and an immediate yes! Think about it, if you asked your friend to go somewhere with you, and they responded late or hesitated; you would automatically assume he or she was not interested. Buts, linger and create spaces of doubt.
Following Jesus means letting go of everything and giving him all your buts. In Luke 9:61-62, Jesus invites a man to come and follow him. The man eagerly accepts however, he wanted to say his good-byes to his family. Jesus quickly rescinds his invitation.
Oswald Chambers writes, “Jesus Christ had no tenderness whatsoever toward anything that was ultimately going to ruin a person in his service to God.”
When you decide to walk with him completely, there cannot be any other person, place, thing, no other relationship more important than him. I admire the Luke 7 Woman in verses 37-38. She was ready and willing to give up everything she had for Jesus and he changed her entire life. She set the bar.
I used to think that me giving everything up to God meant that I couldn’t get married. I couldn’t have a family. I had to eat, sleep and breath Jesus every day and no one else could get any of my time. It turned me off completely and I didn’t think that I could live like that. In my ignorance, the things that I couldn’t imagine letting go is the very things God wanted me to release. Sometimes when I prayed things like “God I only want you” I secretly would say to myself. “But, I want a husband too, God” See there goes that but again. I was conflicted.
There were feelings of guilt surrounding my desire for marriage. I wanted God, but I couldn’t say, “All I want is you. I’m ready to drop everything”, especially if that meant no husband or family. In my case, I wanted marriage more than I wanted Jesus. In the last few weeks, I have revisited this idea. We make our decision about who we say yes to consciously or unconsciously. I’m beginning to see, if God is bringing something to your mind, he wants you to give it to him. I thank him for doing this. This is his grace at work in our lives. He’s giving us the opportunity to hand it over to him to correct it. This week, I’ve been praying about my buts.
I have designated time every morning to prayer and reading his word before I speak to anyone or do anything. I don’t want to have any more buts. Little by little, he’s giving me peace. I understand that it’s the buts that cause you to make irrational (without God) decisions. I want God to take me to a place so deeply rooted in him that I don’t care what happens next.
Jesus even tells his disciples to count the cost before they say yes to him, Luke 14:28-35. The decision to live for him requires you to be willing to trade everything over for him, including what you want and have (relationships, jobs, money, whatever item that may get in the way). I struggled with that for a long time and I shared this in my previous blog post, “Jesus And A Destiny’s Child Christmas Album.” The Luke 7 Woman decided to give up her buts. She knew she needed a change. She couldn’t continue living the way she was. And, honestly, I can’t either, Lord I am giving you every but. Each day that I do, please fill my heart with peace.
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