FREE LUNCH

For a very brief time my freshman year, I was an economics major. One of the mantras of the economist is “there is no such thing as a free lunch”, meaning that every decision has a cost. For everything you say ‘yes’ to, you say ‘no’ to a multitude of other things. By saying ‘yes’ to a friend’s offer of buying you lunch- supposedly free- you pay the cost of not being able to eat lunch with a different friend, or not being able to finish a task, or perhaps the place you would have eaten lunch instead would have mysteriously given you $20. For economists, the costs are limitless, and the way to succeed in life is to minimize your costs.  Jesus lived a lifestyle that would shake the core of everything an economist believes.

Jesus consistently called people to ignore the costs and choose him. In Matthew 19, Jesus tells a young man that to perfectly follow him, he must sell everything he owns, give the profits to the poor, and follow Jesus. Decidedly a huge cost to pay. In order to give his full ‘yes’ to Jesus, he would have had to say ‘no’ to his entire life as he knew it. And it was a good life. The Bible tells us that the young man was wealthy. He wasn’t a beggar who only had to leave behind a few spare possessions. He would have had to leave behind a life of comfort and provision to take the risk of following Jesus and trusting God to provide.  Consistently we see Jesus calling people out of comfort to follow him. In Matthew 4, Jesus calls his disciples, Andrew and Peter, to follow him. Verse 20 says “they dropped their nets and left everything behind to follow Jesus.” They dropped their nets- their livelihood- on the beach, left their boat floating in the water, and followed Jesus. They left everything behind. Later Jesus encounters Jacob and John, who left behind their father to follow Jesus. In Matthew 8, we see another man eager to follow Jesus, but he says he first must care for his elderly father and make arrangement for his death. Jesus tells him “Now is the time to follow me, and let those who are dead bury their own dead.
 
Now is the time to follow him. No matter the cost, following Jesus is greater. Family, a job, our lives, should all be left in the dust we create as we chase after him.  More often than not, the things we are called to leave behind are far more insidious than we realize. It’s not until we’ve left them behind and followed God do we realize that those things were actually hindering us, holding us back from fulfilling the life we are called to lead.

In Luke 19, we see the story of Zacchaeus. More than just being a wee, little man, Zacchaeus was the supervisor over all the tax collectors in the city of Jericho. He would have been incredibly wealthy and successful; a man both revered and feared. And yet something within him longed for more. The Passion Translation says he was eager to see Jesus. He was so eager that he scaled a tree just for a glimpse of the man he’d heard about.  Even with everything Zacchaeus had- money, a house, friends, an important position- he wasn’t satisfied. Something within him compelled him towards more- towards Jesus. And Jesus saw him in his longing, up in a tree, and called him down and out. But in order to truly accept the call Jesus placed on Zacchaeus’s life, he had to do things; the first was humble himself, and the second was say ‘no’ to his former life. Before he could do anything else, Zacchaeus had to make himself low before God. Both literally (physically), and spiritually. Zacchaeus was up in a tree when Jesus called him. He was somewhere he wouldn’t have normally been, and maybe even somewhere he shouldn’t have been. I don’t know how socially acceptable it was for grown men to climb trees in biblical times, but I do know that I would pretty embarrassed to have to climb out of a tree before the human embodiment of God. But up in the tree, Zacchaeus wasn’t able to do anything to change his circumstances. He couldn’t be a tax collector from a tree, and he certainly couldn’t follow God from a tree. He had to release his pride, admit that his circumstances were wrong, and lower himself in humility before God.
 
To follow God, we have to do the same. We have to lower ourselves in humility at his feet. So often pride leaves us up in our tree, unable to follow God into the life he has prepared for us. We believe that we know what is best for our lives, or we question whether it’s really so sinful to live a life of partying or sleeping with our significant other. We compartmentalize and rationalize our lives, and in our pride believe that we know best for our lives. But something drove us up in that tree. Something pushed us to look for more, and Jesus found us. The yearning that pushes us to seek out Jesus is the very thing we have to hold to to climb back down the tree and allow ourselves to be humble before Christ.
 
After he was out of the tree, Jesus wasn’t done with Zacchaeus. He went to his house to dine. It was there that Zacchaeus said ‘no’ to his life in order to say ‘yes’ to Jesus- fully and truly.  “Zacchaeus joyously welcomed Jesus and was amazed over his gracious visit to his home. Zacchaeus stood in front of the Lord and said, ‘Half of all that I own I will give to the poor. And Lord, if I have cheated anyone, I promise to pay back four times as much as I stole.’ Jesus said to him, ‘This shows that today life has come to you and your household, for you are a true son of Abraham. The Son of Man has come to seek out and to give life to those who are lost.’” - Luke 19:8-10 (The Passion Translation) Zacchaeus willingly stood before the Lord and gave up his life of comfort. Not because Jesus had asked for it, but because he was amazed and overjoyed at the graciousness he experienced in Jesus’s presence.

God won’t force us to give up things. He will love us and call us to leave behind a life of sin. We get to choose how to answer the call. But in order to follow God, it is clear that we must be willing to leave behind anything that is not given to us by Christ.  For many, this looks like leaving behind lifestyles that don’t honor God. He calls us to leave behind weekends of bars and drinking so that we can live a life that is honoring to him. He doesn’t ask us to leave behind fun. For some, he asks us to leave behind an unhealthy relationship that doesn’t align with God’s will for relationships. He doesn’t call us to be unhappy and alone. And for others, he calls us to leave behind a life of comfort- maybe a successful job offer, or a really fun spring break or summer break- in order to step out of comfort zone and follow him into a ministry internship (shameless Wesley internship plug) or to a mission trip or summer camp.   We cannot say ‘yes’ to God while also saying ‘yes’ to the things we’ve been called to leave behind. By saying ‘no’ to our old ways of living, we can give our biggest and best ‘yes’ to God- and he has assured us he is more than worth the cost.

Author | Sarah Savoie

Recent

Archive

 2021

Categories

no categories

Tags

1 Corinthians 1 Kings 1 Peter 2 Corinthians 2 Peter Aaron Vickroy Abba Abiding Abigail Bradley Abundance Accountability Actions Adam Salway Addiction Adoration Adventure Alafia Adeleke Alex Hinton Alignment Andrew Elder Andrew Smith Anger Anna DiCosty Anna Goellner Anointing Ansley Davenport Anxiety Armor of God Ashlyn Williams Ashton Brantley Asian American and Pacific Islander Month Aubrey Gold Authority Autumn Pressley Awakening Bailey Meyne Balance Beauty Becca Johnstone Becca Morgan Being Uncomfortable Being mortal Beloved Benji Johnston Bentley Clark Bethel Black History Month Blessing Body Image Body of Christ Boldness Boundaries Brad Schiebel Bravery Breakthrough Brittany Futch Brokenness Brooke DeLoach Brooklyn Holloway COVID-19 Caitlin Cooper Calling Calvary Cam Pace Caroline Barnes Caroline Beasley Caroline Newton Carolyn McLain Celebration Change Charlie Knox Child-like Chloe Glass Chosen Christina Hensley Christlikeness Christmas Survival Guide Christmas Claire Jordan Clarity Colorado Comfort Commitment Communion Community Comparison Compassion Complacency Confidence Connection Consistency Contentment Control Conviction Correction Counseling Courage Covenants Creativity Cristina Rosiles Dating Decisions Dependency Depth Desperation Devon Radford Disappointment Discernment Discipleship Leadership Blog Discipleship Discipline Distraction Diversity Division Doubt Dreams Dutch Williams Easter Eat the Book El Roi El Shaddai Elders Elijah Elizabeth Sprinkle Ellie Knight Ellyzsa Valencia Emily Baker Emily Goldin Emily Helton Emily Summers Emma Kate Shelton Emma Whitmer Emmanuel Fortuchang Emotions Empathy Emptiness Encountering God Encounter Encouragement Rooms Endurance Enough Environment Envy Erin Gilleland Eternity Evan Correa Evangelism Exodus Expectation Faithfulness Faith Family Fear of the Lord Fear Feeling Lost Feeling Safe Forgiveness Fredom Freedom Freely Given Freshley Friendship Fruits of the Spirit Fun Future Garner Gay Generosity Genesis Gentleness Gift Giving Giving Glory of God God as a Father God is Smart God is with us God's Character God's Heart God's Names God's Plans God's Plan God's Power God's Presence God's Promises God's Timing God's Voice God's Will God\'s Character God\'s Heart God\'s Names God\'s Plans God\'s Plan God\'s Power God\'s Presence God\'s Promises God\'s Timing God\'s Voice God\'s Will God\\\'s Character God\\\'s Heart God\\\'s Names God\\\'s Plans God\\\'s Plan God\\\'s Power God\\\'s Presence God\\\'s Promises God\\\'s Voice God\\\'s Will God\\\\\\\'s Character God\\\\\\\'s Presence God\\\\\\\'s Voice Government Grace Gratitude Guatemala Guidance Haley Blanchard Haley Hall Hallie Turner Hannah Cole Healing Heart Posture Heaven Hinds Feet on High Places Hispanic Heritage Month History of Prayer History of Revival History of Wesley Holidays Holiness Holly Avera Holy Spirit Holy Week Home Honor Hope Hospitality Humility Hunger Hunter MacInnis I Am Ian Burkes Identity Idols Image of God Imagination Influence Inheritance Intention Intercession Interning Intimacy Isolation Jake Stephens Jamaica Jamie Cherf Jealousy Jennifer Daniel Jessie Thomas Jesus John Wesley John Joseph Josh DeRamus Journaling Joy Judgment Julia Baughn Justice Justin Patton Kalli Drake Karla Sanchez Tavera Katherine Burnette Katie Courson Katie Pilson Katie Pitner Katy Smith Kelley Losinger Kelly Losinger Kelsey Parham Kennedy Browning Kimberly Klaer Kindness Kingdom Knowing God Knowledge Known Kourtney Axelberg Kristen Fikse Kyle Pickett Language Latinx Heritage Month Lauren Forbes Leadership Legacy Lia Herrera Life Light Lindsey Conway Listening Living Water Living with God Logic Loneliness Longing Los Angeles Loss Love Languages Love Luvlan Lee Mackenzie Wells Maddie Marsh Madeline Current Madelyn Livingston Madison Davis Makinizi Hoover Mariah Foote Mariah Taylor Marlena Sculac Marriage Martin Luther King Jr. Matthew Maturity Melissa Merrick Mental Health Mercy Meredith Ashburn Messiah Miracles Missions Morgan Attebery Mourning Names Narnia Nashville Natalie Mata Nathan DeYoung New Covenant New Year Obedience Old Covenant Olivia Beals Olivia Ellis Openness Outreach Pain Passover Past Paul Peace Perfection Perseverance Perspective Peter Pharisees Philippians Power Praise Prayer Guide Prayer Meetings Prayer Pride Processing Prophecy Protection Provision Psalm 23 Psalms Purity Purpose Rachel Dow Rachel Erin Taylor Rachel Henderson Rachel Jones Racial Healing Racial Reconciliation Rebecca Mejia Recipes Reconciliation Red Rising Redemption Refinement Reflection Reform Refreshing Relationship Remedy Repentance Resolutions Resources Responsibility Restoration Rest Resurrection Reverence Revival Rhythm Righteousness Risk Romance Romans 8 Romans Rosalie Vendrell Ruth Sabbath Sacrifice Salvation Sam Adams Sam Carroll Sam Darby Samantha Forbes Samantha Richey Sanctification Sarah Savoie Savannah Shaw Savannah Ugan Scripture Seasons Secrets of the Secret Place Seeking God Selah Self-love Sermon on the Mount Serving Shaking Shame Sidney Counsell Singleness Sin Slowing Solitude Sorrow Sovereignty Spiritual Disciplines Spiritual Gifts Spiritual Health Spiritual Themes Spiritual Warfare Status Steadfastness Stephanie Seda Stephanie Stewart Strength Stress Struggles Suffering Summer Survival Guide Summer of Psalms Summer Surrender Temple Temptation Tenderness Tension Testimony Thankfulness The Beatitudes The Church The Cross The Gospel The Law The Lord's Prayer The Lord\'s Prayer The Lord\\\'s Prayer The Prodigal Son The Road to Life The Secret Place The Shack The Ten Commandments The Trinity The Word of God Therapy Tori Kramer Transformation Transition Trust Truth Uncertainty Unity Urgency Values Victory Vision Vulnerability Wandering Wednesday Night Recap Who Am I Wilderness Wisdom Wonder Word for the Year Words Worship Worth