Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. Matthew 13:45-46.
Can you image selling everything you have for one pearl? This seems pretty straightforward to me; he willingly sacrificed all he currently had for something greater. Do we sacrifice all we have for Christ? Do you understand the Biblical teaching of water baptism and didn’t get baptized because you didn’t want others to know you hadn’t been living right? Females, do you see you are supposed to submit to your husband and yet you don’t? Men, do you know you are to love your wife as Christ loved the church, but she just annoys you some days so you don’t love her like you should? Do you see you are to obey those over you, including those outside of church, but you don’t agree with them so you don’t submit. Did God tell you not to wear makeup, but it’s just on your toes and you wear closed toe shoes so no one else is going to see. Did God tell you to cast aside your jewelry but you decided that as long as it’s just worn at home it’s ok to wear it? After all if you don’t wear it it will offend the one that gave it to you. Perhaps God told you not to date a certain person, but dropping them would just be too hard. The Bible says not to be unequally yoked, but that doesn’t really apply to me, right, because this is such a great person even if they don’t serve God. What about God told you to avoid a specific movie, but you decided it wasn’t really that big of a deal so you watched it anyway.
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:48
Perfection, that’s my goal. Emptying all of me so I can be filled with Him. Sacrificing my desires so I can have something of greater value. In the end what is of greater value makes me so much happier anyway. Am I perfect yet? Not so much, but I’m striving and I will get there. I have to, because Christ is coming back for a perfected bride. He isn’t coming back for those that call themselves saved, but continue to live life their own way, ignoring what He says. Maybe it’s just me but the word strive seems so different to me than the word try. I’m not trying to make myself ready, I’m striving.
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:22-27
I heard of a therapist that during a session placed a writing pen on a nearby table and asked the person to try and pick up the pen. The person stood up and picked up the pen. Easy enough, right? The therapist took the pen put it back down on the table and said, “I didn’t ask you to pick up the pen, just try to pick it up” This went on a few times and finally the person gave up.”What do you want from me? When I pick up the pen you tell me I’m not supposed to, but when I just sit you still tell me I’m wrong!” The therapist said, “you either picked up the pen or you didn’t, you never simply tried.” The patient thought for a moment and asked “well, I can’t just try.” The therapist spoke again “I know, but you keep saying you are trying in this situation. You either do or you don’t, there is no try.”
Regardless of if you agree with the therapist or not, you can more than likely understand where she was coming from. How often in our walk with God do we say we are trying? I know God told me this or that and I’m trying to work on it. I know I shouldn’t have put myself in this situation, but it’s just too hard. Is it too hard or am I not willing to sacrifice my all because I want my desires more than I love God. When you look up the definitions of try and strive you very quickly see how different they are. To try is to simply make an attempt or effort to do something, but to strive is to struggle or fight, to make great efforts to achieve or obtain something.
If God’s Word tells me to do something and I choose it isn’t important enough for me to strive to do can I honestly call myself a christian?