As Christ called his disciples to follow him, the scriptures say they “forsook all, and followed him” (Luke 5:11). Christ also gave the following admonition that “whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33).
Today, we have the same opportunity. Though we do not forsake fishing nets and walk dusty miles through Judea to follow Christ, we can still diligently discover what it means to forsake all in our own lives. Here are five examples to ponder on and consider in our journey of discipleship.
Repentance is an essential part of the gospel of Jesus Christ and in order to repent, we need to forsake our sins. We strive to leave sin behind while accepting the need to pick ourselves back up again and again when we falter. We examine our lives to determine what safeguards we need to put in place to protect ourselves from temptation. Forsaking sin requires reliance on the grace of Jesus Christ and complete honesty with ourselves and God.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught, “The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar.” While God often wants to be a co-creator in our lives and allows us to make many good and important decisions on our own, he also asks us to sacrifice our will for his.
If we repeatedly try to follow our own path instead of his, we can stop in the road and ask how we can take steps to follow Christ. How can we align what we want with what he wants? Are there sacrifices to be made? How can we have a more humble attitude? All are worthwhile questions to ponder on.
We live in a world of distraction. From our voracious appetites for media and technology to our culture of instant gratification and luxury, it’s easy to fill up our days with things of little or no consequence. Are you willing to make time in your day for the things of God? Can we honestly look back and say we did our best to give as much as we could to him?
Forsake distractions by breaking bad habits and building new ones. Look at how you spend your time and ask yourself what you can do differently. Focus on becoming more sensitive to the things of God and the spirit.
The Lord wants us to succeed. However, the success he has in mind may look very different from the world’s definition of success. In our quest for a better job, more money, or recognition, do we forget to put our duties to God and our family first? In order to embrace Christ, we have to let go of the world. If you’ve become too engrossed with what the world thinks, think more of God. The things he wants to give us are better than anything the world could provide.
Your Comfort Zone
Sometimes, God asks us to do uncomfortable things. It could be as small as talking to someone you don’t know to working through a deep question you have about the Church. When we place our trust in God, we can move past our comfort zone to do some truly miraculous things. This doesn’t mean we’ll always be comfortable, but that we can act in confidence and courage.
We can take small steps by praying for help and relying on the grace of Christ to act every day.