Luke 9:57-58: And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
I have come to the conclusion that most of the problems I have had as a Christian arose whenever I refused to embrace two basic truths.
The first truth: Salvation is not only a rescue – it is also a calling.
If we are not careful we will look at our new life in Christ as just that – our new life in Christ. Like any rescue – it is a new beginning – but once we are rescued, our lives are no longer our own. The sooner we realize this, the happier we will be.
The same Rabbi who told an erring woman “Neither do I condemn thee” also commanded her to “go and sin no more.” The Christ who invited the weary multitudes to come to Him also invited them to come under His yoke and learn. The same Jesus who came to save the lost also made it clear they had to lose their lives for Him if they were to save them. In writing to a pleasure craved church, Paul reminded the Corinthians that the price that freed them also bought them for a specific purpose: glorifying God with their spirits and their bodies.
It took me a while to get the point that Paul got immediately – “Lord, What wilt THOU have me do?” When we realize the price that was paid, and Who paid it, we cannot respond any other way.
The second truth is this: Salvation is a process that begins with an event.
The event is being born again. It is receiving Christ – granting Him full access to all of our life.
But as wonderful as it is to have our sins forgiven, and becoming a new creation, it is only the beginning of the work of His grace.
In talking about eternal life in Matthew, Jesus mentioned two necessary elements – the strait gate and the narrow road. The gate truly is constrictive – Jesus is the only way to salvation, there is none other. But we must not forget that this gate also places us on a road. A road different from the one most people follow. It is a road that demands attention and vigilance.
Like traveling on a road, the process of salvation is not static – it is dynamic. Like being born again, it is a work of grace – and like being born again – it requires our cooperation . . . a daily “denying ourselves and taking up our cross” kind of cooperation. It beseeches us to work out, with fear and trembling, what the Holy Spirit works in us.
It is nothing less than following Jesus – and that is where the danger of the nest lurks. Following Jesus through life necessitates leaving our comfort zones and stepping into new territory on a regular basis. That “new territory” may be a new way of doing things, a new friendship (or breaking off of an old one), starting a new habit (or breaking an old one), or even a new location. It is “putting off” the old ways of doing things and “putting on” a new way of living. But sometimes we hesitate, we pull back, we resist, or just say, “No.”
Why? Because we love the comfort and security of our “nest.”
And that is dangerous. It is dangerous because it frustrates the grace of God. It hinders the work of the Holy Spirit as He seeks to do His work in our hearts. Don’t misunderstand, nests are good. We need nests and Jesus promised to graciously supply “nests” (homes, support systems, income streams, etc..) wherever He leads us. The danger is not in the nest itself – but our attitude toward it. The danger of the nest is loving it more than the One who provided it.
The man who wanted to follow Jesus wherever He went was thinking he could do it from the comfort of his nest. He couldn’t do it, and neither can we.
Explore on your own!
These are the scriptures alluded to in the post. Take some extra time and look up these passages. Read them in context. Do some word study with an expository dictionary, follow cross references, and even spend time memorizing and meditating on some of them. Write down what you learn – you will be surprised how this will “congeal” Scriptural principles in your heart and mind!
Luke 9:57-62; John 8:1-11; Matthew 11:25-30; Luke 11:1-27; Mark 6:34-38; 1 Corinthians 6:18 – 20; Acts 9:1-9; John 3:1-21; John 1:1-14; Matthew 7:13,14; Luke 9:23-27; Philippians 2:12,13; 4:20-32; Colossians 3:8-17; Luke 14:25-35; Mark 10:28-31