From Disciples to Apostles
We no longer regard our lives from the aspect of our own convenience, or pleasant or unpleasant situations or relationships, not even our physical well-being. This is the outcome of what was settled within us on our discipleship (learning) level. Jesus had to speak of that in drastic terms to awaken us from any comfortable tendencies to drift along with the tide. He had to say it shockingly: “If any man…hate not his father, mother, wife, children, brethren, sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26). Hold hard! What can that mean? How could Jesus say that? He said it like that to shock us into thinking it through. It seems so wrong, and even ridiculous, that we are forced to ask, What did He mean? It can’t mean that! But when we do think it through, we see that all that ever motivated us in our unsaved days was self-love. Our love of others was really only to satisfy our self-love. My father, my mother, my wife, my children. The “my” was the real thing to us, not the “them.” The me, my, mine is all I had. And it is “me”—not the loved ones—that I hate when I come to Christ. Then when I have come, and He to me, the miracle is that the me, my, mine is changed to you and yours. I am now a you-lover, not a me-lover. And now I have the kinsmen all back—to love them, rather than to be loved by them.
But wait a minute—something has happened! Though we do have them back to love and serve them, an inner cutoff has taken place in which we really love only One and are joined to One, and our loves for others are secondary expressions of our one love. It is no loner God first and others second. No, it is God only, and all others we love as forms of Him. There is a detaching here which will certainly bring opposition, and maybe persecution, from some loved ones who feel—and rightly so—that they are replaced in the center of our hearts by our Eternal Lover. But during our disciple days, let’s be careful. Again, it is not by works: it’s not that we “try” to cut ourselves off from anything or anybody. No! He does the cutting off, and all He does is always beautiful; and, of course, it does not result in less concern for our loved ones but in more total concern for them to become the total people they really will be in Christ once they come to know Him, though meanwhile our attitude may appear to them as hate or neglect. Neither do we cut ourselves off from the normal way in which God provides our material security, by our jobs or investments. But in His own way He does an inner cutting off, by which we know Him as our true source of supply. Even if our employment or financial securities are taken from us, we only praise Him because He is giving us our chance of proving His faithfulness according to His Matthew 6:31-33 word about taking no anxious thought about food or clothing, but rather, “seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Taken from: —Yes, I Am