For the young ruler, it was riches.
When he came to Jesus asking, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16), he was already part of the way there. Jesus told him, “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17). When Jesus elaborated, the young man replied, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth” (Mark 10:20).
It was true. He had. “Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me'” (Mark 10:21).
Jesus saw a potential disciple in this young man, but He also saw one giant obstacle that would get in the young man’s way:
He had a lot of it, and he wasn’t ready to let it go. “But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Mark 10:22).
He was so close. He lacked one thing. But he just couldn’t do it.
So what’s your obstacle?
Is there something God could ask you to give up that would make you walk away in sadness? Or hesitate? Or wonder if it was worth it?
If there is such a thing in your life, what makes you think He isn’t going to ask you to make that choice?
The problem wasn’t the young man’s riches. The problem was how important those riches were to him—enough to pass up the opportunity to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. Enough to turn down the offer of eternal life.
Life is full of things that want to be as important—or more important—than our calling. We can’t afford to let that happen, or else the time will come when God asks us to choose—and we’ll go with where our heart is. Where our treasure is. If that isn’t our calling, then we’ll walk away, too.
If we can identify our obstacles now, we can get to work on cutting them down to size before it’s too late.
Until next time,