Some people today claim that following Jesus is for weak-minded people. They claim that faith in God is a crutch and that you only need it if you’re not strong enough to cope with life on your own. I beg to differ.
Following Jesus is not for wimps. Many of Jesus’ teachings are not only difficult, but impossible on our own. For example, Jesus said that we are to love our enemies. Have you tried that lately? It’s hard enough to consistently love the people you like! Definitely not for the weak minded. Or how about when Jesus said that we must forgive those who abuse us? I think one of the most difficult things to do is to forgive someone who willfully harms us. Then there was the time when he said that if we want to follow him we have to take up our cross daily. He didn’t mean that you had to wear a cross pendant around your neck. In Jesus’ day, the cross was all about death. It was an instrument of execution. When a man was seen struggling down the road bearing the heavy burden of a cross on his shoulders, everyone knew that was a dead man walking. You don’t survive the cross. You die on a cross. Jesus was saying that if we want to follow him, then we have to die to everything we want, everything we dream about, and everything we hope to achieve in this life. Instead, we are to lay our lives down for him and live for what he wants. That’s hard…really, really hard. No doubt about it…following Jesus is NOT for the feeble of heart.
Trying to pull this thing off is like trying to move Mount Everest with a soup spoon. It ain’t gonna happen! Now, we can be very religious on our own. It doesn’t take a lot of fortitude to get up, go to church, and play the part every week. The hard part comes when we have to live this thing out on Monday morning. The truth is, we are not strong enough, tough enough, nor good enough to follow Jesus in our own strength. The good news is that we are not left to our own devices. Philippians 2:13 says, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” He is at work in us and he will finish what he started. It may not be easy, but we will flourish because His power is at work in us.