Serving Even When It Is Inconvenient
By Rick Warren
— September 15, 2011
As they went on their way, a man said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lie down and rest.” (Luke 9:57-58 TEV)
Jesus never calls us to blind obedience. As we follow him and become familiar with his character, we learn he is always waiting on the other side of our steps of faith. He forces us into a place where we must trust him and his promises, but he also tells us what to expect when we follow him (John 14:1-4).
He wants us to count the cost of our commitment, because he knows it will demand every thing we have (Luke 14:28). In essence, Jesus warns us away from a romantic view of following him. He understands that when we volunteer to go anywhere at any time, our romanticism will wither when our commitment becomes inconvenient — or when it collides with the full cost of discipleship.
Discipleship means we give up any thought that there will be bits and pieces of our lives that can remain unaffected by our relationship with Jesus. We can’t say “yes” to Jesus and expect to hold on to a portion of our independence. He demands it all.
We no longer have the choice to serve only when and where it is convenient for us. “Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lie down and rest” (Luke 9:58 TEV).
When we have a romantic view of discipleship, we may imagine ourselves giving up everything for Jesus as the world admires our faith and people express their heartfelt gratitude for our sacrificial service.
But the cost of discipleship may bring the scorn of the world to your doorstep. When you follow Jesus and do the things he tells you to do, even fellow believers may think you’re throwing away your future to help people who can give you nothing in return. Discipleship may mean sacrificing for others who will have no appreciation for what you have done — much like Jesus was ridiculed as he died on a cross.
The grace to go wherever Jesus tells us to go comes only through the call of Christ and the power of God infused into our being. Grace obligates us to obey Jesus, regardless of the circumstances or consequences.
How much of your service to Jesus is based upon what is convenient for you, and how much of it is based upon you doing what Jesus has told you to do? Jesus loves you and plans his best for you. He brings no condemnation; he wants to turn you in the right direction.
This devotional is based on Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s ‘The Cost of Discipleship’ by Jon Walker.
Saddleback Resources offers a small group Bible study related to these devotionals: The Invisible War-Winning the Battle of Temptation.
Jon Walker is the managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotionals. © Copyright 2011 Jon Walker. Used by permission.