Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”
- Luke 9:23
We’re all human, right? We have desires to feed our flesh rather than our souls. We have those things we long for – thinking that some hole will be filled if we get that job, make friends with that person, perfect that skill, give ourselves to that boy, etc. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work like that.
Lately, I’ve been chasing after my career. I’m an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) --responding to 911 calls in an ambulance and currently holding two different jobs under that title. I also assist in teaching EMT students the skills they will need once they are certified and have jobs as EMTs. It’s so easy for me to go to work and do my job, then go to another job, and to another. I’m on the go at least five days a week, sometimes seven, rarely stopping to rest and recharge, but completely crashing when I do. My schedule leaves me exhausted in every sense of the word, but I love what I do and am so grateful to be able to love, protect, and serve the people in my community.
Consequently, a hectic schedule leaves little time for church, small group, discipleship, and devotion time. I’ve spent a lot of time the past few months chasing everything but Jesus. In doing that, I can feel my heart getting hard, and my mind caring less and less about whether or not I actually get to go to church, small group, discipleship, etc.
What I have failed to do is remember Who has allowed me to do what I’m doing in the first place. God has given me the talent, knowledge, skill, and desire to be an EMT. He has opened up every door that I’ve walked through and closed the door to paths that I wasn’t supposed to go down. He has orchestrated every. single. part. of my life. So, why shouldn’t I be chasing after Him? After all, without God, I wouldn’t even be sitting here in the station writing this in between calls.
If there’s anything that I’ve realized from preparing for this post and spending more time in prayer, it’s this: you can’t chase things of this world and Jesus at the same time. In our verse for today, Jesus says that if we want to follow Him, we “must give up our own way.”
So, instead of chasing the world, I need to be chasing Him. Instead of looking for my job to fill a gap, I need to look to Jesus to fill it. Instead of choosing other things every day, I need to choose Jesus daily. It’s not always an easy choice, and sometimes it’s a choice that I’m less than willing to make, but it’s the most important and necessary choice to make. Choosing Jesus daily allows me to focus on the one thing that is 100% stable and will never fail in this life – His love for me.
1. How do you choose Jesus on a daily basis? Or, if you haven’t been choosing Him, how can you begin to do so?
2. What is one way that, by choosing Jesus daily in the last week, you have seen/heard/felt His presence in a specific moment?
Father, I come to You knowing that I’ve fallen short recently. You love me so well and all you ask is that I love You in return. I confess that I haven’t been doing that recently. God, it’s my desire to love You each day, to choose You over everything else. Will You help me see the areas of my life that I need to give up in order to choose You each day? This week, will you show me something new about You and Your love for me? Thank You for loving me, Father. I love You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
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