But First Lord Let Me…

Posted on March 12, 2019 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters

“He said to another person, ‘Come, follow Me.’ The man agreed, but he said, ‘Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.’” — Luke 9:59 (NLT)

I was just recently having one of those good Tuesday mornings where things just went smoothly…and I hadn’t even left the house for work yet. I get my Tacoma warmed up and gather everything I’m gonna need for the day ahead – lunch box, coffee, and the baseball cap of the day. After hopping in my truck, I turn my CD player on, press play, and the selected preacher of the day begins to speak. There’s a nice chill to the air as I drive along the Lower Bank bridge, the sun is just rising to the right of me as the road begins to do its familiar turns along the Mullica River. I get to the stop sign, hit my blinker to signal a right hand turn onto RTE 542 and suddenly I hear, “Lord what a selfish man I am.” Wha??

It’s not too unusual for me to hear, “What a wretched man I am” when I am listening to the Gospel being preached or a lesson being taught but I was apparently half listening to what I must have considered just background noise while I was driving. My head was full of details for the day ahead and I was pondering on their outcome rather than listening to God’s Word. I don’t think it too good for someone who finds their comfort knowing that it is a privilege to be a minister of the Gospel message to be finding himself half-listening to “What thus saith the LORD.” After all, I make it a point to listen to God’s Word as a source of encouragement, but to do this half-hearted while tending to my own agenda… ‘What a wretched man I am.” Anyway…

There’s a passage in Luke’s Gospel where we can see how “half-heartedness” is dealt with by Jesus. In the 9th chapter, starting at verse 57, we find three examples of conflicting commitments. One man seems to volunteer unconditionally, another seems to have an emergency which will delay him for a moment, and yet we have a third who is ready to go but wants to say his goodbyes first. We could look at these three men and not really find a lack of sincerity. After all, when folks volunteer in our churches, we’re kinda okay if they have to take care of things before their commitment to church function, however, this is not where Jesus is gonna go.

His first response to our “go anywhere with You” fella is for Jesus to say that not even He has a place to hang His own head for rest. Basically saying, if you’re for real about this you better count the cost. The second response is a shocker. “Let me bury my father.” Seems a reasonable request, but if you were to look at this from Jesus’ point of view anybody can bury the dead but preaching the Gospel will give men eternal life. This is something that extends beyond the grave, so yeah, let the dead bury the dead. The third response, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). is yet another shocking statement but if His kingdom was to move forward, this fella needed to not be looking back to make sure things were staying straight.

The morning I was caught half-heartedly listening to what the preacher of the day had to say was the very morning I heard him recite Luke 9:59. It wasn’t that my agenda of the day was one where I was up to no good. On the contrary, I had some things that have Kingdom value to them that I was going over in my mind and decisions had to be reached but our Mighty God stopped my thinking to let me know I wasn’t really “all in” to hear what He had to say that morning.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote, “By itself the call of Jesus could be taken in many different ways. How we take it depends on what we think of Him, and He can be recognized only by faith.” Guess treating His word and wisdom as background noise was truly a bad way of recognizing Him and displayed where my faith was that chilly Tuesday morning.

But you know what? It’s good to know that I just actually might be surrendered enough for Him to deal with me. Back when the days were actually a lot worse than they are now, all the background noise in my head wouldn’t let me have a good night’s sleep let alone to be able to hear Him call to me that what I was doing had to stop. I hope your hearing what I am being allowed to hear. Amen?

Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Job 17-19, 1 Corinthians 7:1-19| You can download our 2018 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

Daily Quote: “To the question—where to-day do we hear the call of Jesus to discipleship, there is no other answer than this: Hear the Word, receive the Sacrament; in it hear Him Himself, and you will hear His call.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. – 1 Corinthians 1:9



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