One day I took my car in for service here in Managua and, for the first time in my life, I actually arrived early. Because the garage was not yet open I drove around the area for a bit to kill time. As I drove around I turned onto a random street, and all of a sudden found myself completely surrounded by police and armed guards. There were large barriers set-up, regularly uniformed police, riot police, SWAT police, you name it. I pretty quickly figured out I was somewhere I shouldn’t be, so I spun around and got out of there. Later I discovered I had turned into the neighborhood of our president (he has decided the Presidential Palace is not sufficient for him, so he lives in a neighborhood). No wonder it was guarded so well.
That image of all those barricades, police, and guards protecting the presidential mansion reminds me of how we guard certain areas of our lives from God. We passionately follow God in some areas, especially when we are at church, in our small group, or serving in a ministry. Yet, we have other parts of our lives we’ve pretty much declared are a “no go zone” for God. When we are with certain friends our language and behavior totally change. When we are at work we’re willing to bend a few ethical rules as long as we get ahead. In our private life, when no one is watching, we do numerous things we know are not only not God-glorifying, but flat out sinful. We know we should give more time to serving God, but we’ve got huge amounts of time on our calendar that are well guarded from Him. My question to us is: what parts of our lives are we keeping God out of, and why?
“Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Mark 10:20-22
We often make this verse all about money, but it’s about way more than that. What is happening here is that Jesus is telling the young man that in order to truly follow Him he needs to follow with his WHOLE life. He can’t keep certain parts of his life militantly guarded from God, but instead needs to follow Jesus in every part of his life. The young man chooses not to follow Jesus because he is unwilling to let God into his financial and business life. Jesus wants us to trust Him with everything. And really, when we think about it, doesn’t that make a lot more sense than trusting ourselves or the world? This week, let’s examine our lives and discover those places that we’ve kept God out of. Let’s drop our guard and truly start following God in each and every part of our lives.