And the children of Israel said to them, 'Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full!'
'Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.'
But Jesus said to him, 'No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.'
If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.
God's truth is perfect and beautiful, hard and mysterious--demanding faith. Many of Jesus' Words pierce us to our very core.*
Does God intend us to hate our families? Certainly not. But God intends us to love Him first--preferring Him over all else. Consider the similarity of the words 'family' and 'familiarity.' Hanging with our homies does not free us to follow Jesus. He hung once and for all--so we could be free. To do what?
'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature' (Mark 16:15). 'Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations' (Matthew 28:19).
If God tells us to move, we go--trusting that His love and care of our families will be better than our own. We don't ignore them, but we prefer Him. We trust His vision of our future. But remember, He is a God of newness:
'Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it?' (Isaiah 43:19). 'For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope' (Jeremiah 29:11).
The children of Israel preferred bondage in Egypt to freedom in Canaan. In Egypt, their bellies were full, but their eyes were dull. They lacked vision. Neither did they trust the vision of God. Because His way forced them to abandon dull familiarity for brilliant adventure. But the adventure required faith.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: be faithful. Embrace newness. Become visionaries. Communicate God's vision to the world. Right now, masses of people live a massively hollow life. It's like the movie, Matrix--except they're fed by a screen, instead of a tube. But wait, this screen has a tube. It's called a picture tube. By it, millions are dulled into a dream-like trance. It's a vicarious existence.
Instead of living full and free lives, people are dulled into drones--following silly stars and fancy shows. It's like looking at life though prison bars--where daily routines are dictated by media. It seems fun, but how much fun can life be behind bars?
They don't know freedom, but you do. It's your responsibility to become a different kind of role model: one who points the way to the Truth.
To Be Continued...
* God's Word cuts the hype. Consider Hebrews 4:12:
'For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart' (NKJV).
'His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon's scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God's Word. We can't get away from it-no matter what' (The Message).
Check out the commentaries on Hebrews 4:12: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/hebrews/4-12.htm
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Field of Dreams series.