Read Mark 10:17-23
17 As he went out into the street,a man came running up,greeted him with great reverence,and asked,”Good Teacher,what must I do to get eternal life?”
18-19 Jesus said,”Why are you calling me good? No one is good,only God. You know the commandments: Don’t murder,don’t commit adultery,don’t steal,don’t lie,don’t cheat,honor your father and mother.”
20 He said,”Teacher,I have-from my youth-kept them all!”
21 Jesus looked him hard in the eye-and loved him! He said,”There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”
22 The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear,and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things,and not about to let go.
23-25 Looking at his disciples,Jesus said,”Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who ‘have it all’ to enter God’s kingdom?” (THE MESSAGE)
There is no doubt God wants to bless his people with all sorts of things. The problem is that we may be reluctant to receive them. As long as we cling tightly to what we already have,we can’t open our hands to receive whatever it is he has for us. We have decided we want to keep what we have while also wanting to get what he wants to give. And there will be times that this is not possible.
It was the case with this man who encountered Jesus. He wanted what Jesus had to offer,but in order to receive it he had to be prepared to give up what he already had. His refusal to do so left him saddened. It showed what his priorities were.
We dare not confine all this to material wealth. We can cling to a ministry,to a reputation,to a relationship,to a dream. And in doing so we might not be free to take hold of the new thing God is offering us. We are too full of our own concerns and priorities and desires that we can’t fit any more in.
It is not as if God is just itching to take away what we have. Rather he wants us to cease clutching it and offer it anew to him. To receive all we need from God we may need to surrender all we have to God.