“Peter began to say to Him, ‘See, we have left all and followed you’”Mark 10:28
Abandonment of everything pertaining to our earthly lives is not something done lightly or easily. While Peter and the other disciples had left all they still had to come to the place of abandonment to Jesus Christ.
In Christian service there are several pitfalls into which we may be seduced or fall. In our enthusiasm we may start making our own plans based on what we reasonably believe is service to Christ. Yet in doing so we may set parameters of location, finance, housing, employment, culture, language or a host of other limitations. The development of the disciples reveals they did have some limitations which had to be given up.
Another pit into which we may fall is the desire to do something for the Lord. The hidden motive may be to receive praise or to feel good about ourselves. Jesus said we could do nothing apart from Him (John 15:5). Any attempt to do so is rebellious pride. One may leave all with the motive of being praised for it.
Like the disciples, the first thing we do is come to Jesus, then we leave all to follow Jesus and finally we abandon everything to jointly serve with Jesus. The way to serve Jesus is to serve His people. Jesus expressed this in Matthew 25:40 and in John 21:15-19 where we read of Peter’s restoration to fellowship with the Lord. Love for Jesus will always include love for other Christians expressed in service. Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). He said this in light of His illustration of this principle of service to one another (v 14). To love with God’s kind of love is to serve one another without condition.
Another pitfall is to serve the Lord with an expectation of getting something in return in this life or that which is to come. Abandonment is not in order to receive anything but in order to give everything. Even asking “Where can I be of use?” has the element of pride and self worth in it. It is not about our evaluation of usefulness. Abandonment is to Christ, forsaking all else. Oswald Chambers writes, “If we only give up something to God because we want more back, there is nothing of the Holy Spirit in our abandonment; it is miserable commercial self-interest.”
Let us dethrone ourselves and put Christ on the throne by yielding to Him without condition.