What Are You Willing to Leave to Follow Jesus?

Jerry and I are asking God to call men and women to help build Freedom House Church. This is what He is breathing into my soul this morning.

In Mark 10:17-31 I see two men that were invited to follow Jesus. One was the rich young ruler and the other was Peter. One followed Jesus and the other one didn’t. The difference was that one of them was willing to leave everything to follow Jesus and the other one wasn’t. One was willing to trust Jesus for what He needed each day, and the other one couldn’t let go of his self-sufficiency. Jesus is looking for men and women who will give Him their wholehearted devotion, depending upon Him each day for what they need. Peter was the one who followed Jesus, and Peter was someone who experienced a great move of God in his lifetime.

Proverbs 3:5 “Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.” (Amplified Bible)

In order for Peter to leave everything, He had to trust God. He had to lean on Jesus. I think the best quality in a team member is the ability to lean. The best way to live is from the position of leaning. You don’t know what it is to lean until you’ve had to lean. Because of the heavenly treasures associated with a position of dependency, once you lean, you don’t ever want to stand on just your own two feet again.

I’ve had to lean, and I found it was more stable to lean on Jesus than it was to try to make it on my own. It was better to seek after Him than it was to chase after my own dreams. I found that leaning opened up heaven to me. God could move beyond my ability and demonstrate His glory and grace. Learning to lean allowed me to experience the all-sufficient anointing of God flow through my limited ability, causing me to know the supernatural.

Furthermore, in ministry, we like to surround myself with leaners who understand from experience what leaning is. We want people on our team that have had to lean. We want a team that will let go of self and lean on Jesus together.

The Bible is filled with leaning stories, but one of my favorites is when God provided for the Israelites in the wilderness. When God provided manna for the children of Israel, the manna was only good for the one day. The exception was the Sabbath, their day of rest, and that morning they were allowed to have manna leftovers. However, on a weekday some of the people decided to try to keep some of the manna for the next day. When they opened up their containers, they were overtaken by a rotten manna stench and disgusted by the baby worms that had grown in their manna overnight. Leaners don’t live on leftovers! Leaners won’t settle for anything less that the FRESH move that God wants to do today.

Jesus quoted the O.T. reference to manna when someone tried to pull Him away from God’s plan. He said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” What appears to be smart, may not be God for you. What appears to be lucrative, may not be God for you. What appears to be a good plan, may not be God for you. How do you find out what is God for you? Lean in to Him and find out. The meaning of the Hebrew word for manna is “what is it?” God has something fresh for you that you have never experienced before. You won’t find it any other way than from leaning in on Him. Get that fresh word! God wants to do something new in you and through you. The best life is unfolding for you right now – not from yesterday, not from what you are familiar with, not from what you might expect. Even Spirit-filled believers can get stagnant. God is looking for people who will move with Him for a new day. It’s time for a fresh start for some of us. I know it is for me, and I know it requires following Jesus.

Jesus referred to manna in John 6 when He taught about His dependency upon God. Jesus was a leaner; and not only was Jesus a leaner, but He became our Lord, the one we lean on. He has what we need for today. He brings us a fresh day. In Him, He will cause us to experience the fresh living water of the Spirit that will bring life for the dying, mending for the broken, freedom for the captives, healing for the hurting – a river that flows through us to refresh others. How glorious!

Many are called and few are chosen. I would rather have a few leaners on our team than a bunch of do-it-youselfers. DIY people might be awesome, but their awesome won’t be truly useful until they yield themselves to be a vessel, leaning over and pouring out a flow from God to the people we are called to reach.

Jesus called twelve men to be His disciples. Not one of them said, “no.” I think Jesus chose the twelve because He perceived they were men who would stand up and walk away from self-reliance and follow Him. The disciples were leaners. When I think about my husband and myself, I’ve wondered, God why have you not given up on us and moved on to someone else? One thing I know, we’re so desperate for Him, we’ll do whatever He asks us to do. We’re leaners! God wants to stay moving and keep His anointing fresh for today.

II Chronicles 16:9 “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”

God is looking, searching, for leaners. No matter how long you’ve been serving Jesus, God is looking for followers who are willing to leave it all for Him. What if you feel ashamed or despised?  – If you’ve learned to lean, you’re more valuable now than when you were standing in your own goodness. What if you feel foolish? – If you’ve learned to lean, than you know no one on earth can compare with God, and you want to shine who He is to the world around you. What if you feel insignificant or not good enough? – If you’ve learned to lean, you recognize that the glory you contain within your vessel is the most significant element that the world is in dire need of.

God chooses men and women who are willing to risk it all to follow Him into a place where they will lean on Him to doing something new, to do something fresh. God chooses leaners.

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