from rick clack, School of leadership student and RLC board member
In Mark 10:21, the rich young ruler’s heart was right; he wanted to know what he needed to do to get to Heaven. Many times we come to the Lord with pure motives, but the Lord knows the depths of our heart. He knows just how far we are willing to go and when our relationship with him becomes a sacrifice. Jesus called the rich young ruler into submission to the will of God. He asked for the very thing that would hold the affection of his heart; something that has to belong to God alone. When we hear the Holy Spirit say, “One thing you lack”, it should shake us to our core of who we are; no one knows us better. He will always call us to that deep, intimate relationship with him - it his greatest desire. That’s why he gave his life for us.
When I met my wife, I fell head over heals in love with her. I wanted to do anything I could to please her and to spend every minute of my free time with her. Then came a time when circumstances separated us. I was devastated. I had just accepted Christ as my Savior and didn’t understand how something so painful could have any purpose. The Holy Spirit used a Christian brother to teach me what the bible said. He read: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener, he cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that bears fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:1-2). The truth about cutting and pruning is - IT HURT’S! But when done right, its always beneficial.
Jesus is always more interested in our eternal development then he is with our temporary comfort. He is willing to remove anything that hinders our relationship with him because he loves us that much.
The rich young ruler had the choice to leave behind what captured his affection, and give his heart to God - or not. I heard the same message when the love of my life was removed from me. My level of affection for her was in the place God wanted to be. The choice is very real; when faced with it, the choice feels like a collision with a mack truck. The final choice is always up to us.
Have you been pruned back? Has the Lord asked you to separate yourself from something that competes with him for your affection? Something or someone you are willing to put before God?
The rich young man went away sad. I can tell you first hand - if he had been willing to give up what captured his heart - God would have filled that void with an abundance, far beyond expectation and desires.
Don’t walk away, surrender to God’s sovereign love and be filled with his abundance.