Lately in my spiritual journey I have had the challenge of abandonment of self pop up quit a bit, to the point (as dumb as I may be) that I think God is trying to tell me something. I really do have a desire to follow Christ and see Him very evident in my life and around me, but it is so easy to get caught up in other things such as business, laziness, entertainment, work, family, struggles, discouragements... the list goes on. What it comes down to for me most of the time is my unwillingness to let go of control, or to let go of myself completely.
Today I read Oswald Chambers' my utmost for his highest. There it was again:
"One thing thou lackest: . . come, take up the cross, and follow Me." Mark 10:21
The rich young ruler had the master passion to be perfect. When he saw Jesus Christ, he wanted to be like Him. Our Lord never puts personal holiness to the fore when He calls a disciple; He puts absolute annihilation of my right to myself and identification with Himself - a relationship with Himself in which there is no other relationship. Luke 14:26 has nothing to do with salvation or sanctification, but with unconditional identification with Jesus Christ. Very few of us know the absolute "go" of abandonment to Jesus.
"Then Jesus beholding him loved him." The look of Jesus will mean a heart broken for ever from allegiance to any other person or thing. Has Jesus ever looked at you? The look of Jesus transforms and transfixes. Where you are "soft" with God is where the Lord has looked at you. If you are hard and vindictive, insistent on your own way, certain that the other person is more likely to be in the wrong than you are, it is an indication that there are whole tracts of your nature that have never been transformed by His gaze.
"One thing thou lackest . . ." The only "good thing" from Jesus Christ's point of view is union with Himself and nothing in between.
"Sell whatsoever thou hast . ." I must reduce myself until I am a mere conscious man, I must fundamentally renounce possessions of all kinds, not to save my soul (only one thing saves a man - absolute reliance upon Jesus Christ) - but in order to follow Jesus. "Come, and follow Me." And the road is the way He went.
I want to experience that look from Jesus to the point that nothing else matters. His gaze says I love you enough to demand from you that all these things that keep you from me are completely obliterated and gone. That's not legalism! That is love!!! I do know that God is calling me to reckless and complete abandonment of self, my hopes and prayers that my mind, will and strength will remember his look of love and transformation rather than looking for areas of comfort and apathy.