The Impulsive Man
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has no place to lay his head.” — Luke 9:57-58
In the context of these 2 verses, Jesus has fed thousands, healed people, and driven out evil spirits. The man in this verse sees all of these good things and wants in on it. So he sees Jesus and makes an impulsive decision. He says “I will follow you wherever you go.” We know this decision is impulsive because of the response of Jesus, who could see inside the man’s heart. I have heard preachers make the response of Jesus sound pitiful, but I believe Jesus was simply saying “following me is not what you think it is. I don’t give a flip about the worldly stuff everyone else seems to care about, I am here to serve my Father and please Him.”
Looking back, I was very much like this impulsive man. My friends were saying they were “getting saved.” I was listening to some pretty powerful preachers that were drawing crowds. The church seemed to literally feed me just about every time I walked through the doors. But most of all, they said that there was this place called Hell where souls were destroyed, but not to fear because a man named Jesus made everything alright for those who “receive” Him. I took it all in and made the decision to be “saved.” Every Christian I knew simply acted like it was all over and done with and simply said “good job.” Unlike them, Jesus didn‘t have this response. In fact, it looks to me like He was talking the guy out of it…making sure that the guy was making an informed decision. I know if Jesus had been there in person with me, He would have said “this isn‘t the end…it’s only beginning.”
I wasn’t just impulsive about receiving Jesus. I was impulsive about nearly everything: the music I listened to, the movies I watched, and the activities I did. If crowds were heading in one direction, I just kind of took my place in line to see where they ended up. I found out that impulsivity simply led to this lonely, meaningless place. Sure, I could go to the football game and have a blast, but the game eventually ended…then what? I could go to the bar and have a great time, but “last call for alcohol” eventually came…then what? I could be completely entertained by the movie or the concert…but eventually the lights came on and eventually the credits rolled. There had to be more to life than these temporary “highs.”
I guess I say all that to say this: when I felt the initial call of Jesus, I didn’t think of it as an invitation to a completely new way of live. I didn’t realize that He wanted to transform my life so much that all of my thoughts, all of the time would simply be to bring honor to His name. I’m not sure as an immature 16 year old that I was capable of completely understanding this, but I could have understood a big pause. One simple pause to say “are you sure you are ready to take on this kind of commitment?”
So, I simply ask you today: Have you really surrendered your life to the Lord? Have you really counted the cost? Does He so influence your decision making that you would let the boyfriend break up with you before you would have sex with him outside of marriage? Does He so influence your decision making that you would rather stay in the marriage and work things out simply because it would bring the most honor to His name? Does He so influence your decision making that you would rather take the F on the test you didn’t study for rather than cheat and make a passing grade? Does He so influence your decision making that you would completely forgive the one person you can’t stand?
This kind of Christianity is hard. It is also the kind that He calls all people who choose to take on the name “Christian” As soon as anyone today says “I will follow Jesus,” most preachers simply say “Heaven is rejoicing” then quickly add the hands so they can boast about the numbers next week. I’m not saying that is necessarily a bad thing. We can’t look into the hearts of men like Jesus could. All I am saying is that I was impulsive about my initial decision to follow Him and I represented Him poorly for quite a while. I didn’t deserve to be counted amongst the hands that went up because I had no intention of doing anything differently.
If you were impulsive about this decision like I was…take the time to really consider what it would look like if you really started to follow Him today. Don’t do this halfway thing like I did for years trying to have the best of both worlds…that place is the most miserable place on the planet.
“If any man would come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” — Mark 8:34
What has it cost you to serve the Lord?