Sick of Religion? Week 3: Devotional Day 2
DAY 2 – Tuesday
Mark 2:14; Mark 10:29-30
When Jesus asked me to “follow him,” what did I leave behind?
What radical change was made in my life through the work of the Holy Spirit?
How did I “identify” after this moment?
As a twelve-year-old, I asked Jesus into my heart and asked him to cleanse me of my sin, even though I wasn’t really sure what sin was. I knew for sure that God was real and I wanted to follow him, but sin was a little foreign to me and following him was tricky because I couldn’t see him. I couldn’t have known that my small mustard seed of faith would be put to the test almost immediately.
Through some hard family trials over the course of a few years I basically walked away. In my kid’s heart I didn’t know what else there was besides belief. I didn’t know that I could read the Bible and the Holy Spirit was my teacher. At 16 I took matters into my own hands and grew a long root of pride. I set to the task of being successful, probably never marrying, going where I wanted to go, and doing what I wanted to do. “You do you” could have been tattooed on my forehead. In the world’s eyes I had it all as an up-and-coming 23-year-old with a promising career in the hair industry. Bought my first house, made better-than-average income, mowed my own lawn, and fixed my own toilet. “I am woman, hear me roar!” It was all grand—right?
Jesus got ahold of me when I turned 30. What I had craved and what I had longed for came true in the person of Jesus Christ. My career as a hairdresser would be put to the test, as it is not really popular being a Christian in a mostly secular career. My long-time friends would look at me like I had lost it. How could I betray them? How could I believe that God was real? And the Bible—wasn’t that written by man? Every question came at me.
I remained strong in my faith, but only because I had landed headfirst in the Word of God. My adult heart knew God could speak for himself this time around. I compared everything I heard to scripture, including scrutinizing how I identified in my life. (I use this term “identify” because it is a buzz word. If we are not finding our identity in Christ, we are finding it in other things—life styles, habits, and careers.) Within a year I left my career at Gene Juarez because I knew God was calling me away. I couldn’t have known what Jesus had in store even in the very near future.
Mark 10:29-30a says, “Anyone who leaves his home behind and chooses me over children, parents, family, and possessions, all for the sake of the gospel, it will come back to him a hundred times as much in this lifetime.” (The Passion Translation)
When I turned away from the things in which I found my identity and instead to the person of Jesus Christ, I received a hundred-fold and more. As I invested in the body of Christ and they invested in me, I got brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers.
What have you left behind? If you are not finding your identity in Christ, where are you finding it? Pray about it.