One Thing You Lack
There were not many people to whom Jesus, in His flesh, said the words, “Follow me.” We know of Peter, Andrew, Matthew, James, John, some unnamed disciples, and another individual we commonly refer to as “the rich, young ruler.” His story is accounted for in Mark chapter ten, where this young ruler had approached Jesus asking him, “Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Jesus responds to him with a statement about the commandments of the Old Testament, to which the young ruler stated he had obeyed all of his life. The next thing Jesus does and says, is a lesson to us all.
The Bible says in Mark 10:21, “Then Jesus beholding him loved him and said unto him, ‘One thing thou lackest’.” In all of the self-sufficiency this rich young ruler had, he still lacked something in the presence of the Almighty God. Jesus challenged him to sell all of his possessions and give the money to the poor, and then the Lord extended the call, “Follow me.”
It was something that the rich young ruler would remember for the rest of his life. Yet, he walked away grieved by the level of commitment the Lord had called him to. Many believers don’t understand how the Lord could see this man’s lacking and love him simultaneously. We too often see people’s deficiencies, weaknesses, and shortcomings, and think they are reasons to disqualify, discredit, or disannul them from being one that God loves. We, too, can fall into this mindset regarding ourselves and try to approach the Lord with the same attitude as this rich, young ruler. We put our best foot forward and try to draw God’s attention to all the right things we do, but still have this burning question within us, “What else is there?” The question is, do we really want the Lord to answer that? He had a response for the rich, young ruler that day – but it was something that the young man did not want to hear. Just like us, there are things that God is wanting to deal with us about and we can’t discern between condemnation and conviction.
Conviction draws us near with love, but condemnation drives us away with fear. The still small voice of God that tells young men, even today, to turn away from that sexually provocative web page or social media feed – and that they don’t need it to be satisfied. The same voice that tells young women that they don’t need to put on that coverup, makeup and dress immodestly to be beautiful. We try to tell the Lord all of the things we do right, not realizing that God wants to love us where we lack.
It’s difficult for the flesh to lack in His presence. Self-sufficiency, vanity and egotism is the way of the flesh! But the way of the Spirit is God-dependency, humility, and meekness. The flesh will fight to cover up what the Spirit of the Lord wants to convict. It would behoove and benefit this generation to know that the conviction of the Lord is for good.
What good? Let us re-examine the story of the rich, young ruler.
When Jesus challenged and convicted the rich, young ruler regarding his possessions, Jesus immediately follows up with a call and an invitation, saying, “Come, take up the cross, and follow me.” What many believers don’t realize is that when Jesus convicts, He’s setting us up for a deeper call. A deeper call that leads to knowing Him and His ways unlike anyone else. On that day, very few people were personally told of Jesus, “Follow me.” If we were honest, the flesh wants the call without the conviction, the supernatural without the sacrifice, the power without the price. Holiness is not about mere rules and boundaries. Holiness is a call to walking with Jesus into places that the Lord has exclusively prepared for us. The only reward Jesus keeps exclusive from us is through the commitment we exclude ourselves from.
There is something we lack! And we ought to be honest with God, because honesty will keep us from being vulnerable with God in the areas He’s waiting to pour out His love on. There is an outpouring of His love where we lack!
Jesus is looking upon this generation, beholding us, and loving us. Let us hear His words of challenge and remember, there is attached to that challenge, invitation in the Spirit to walk into deeper places.
Hector Robles hosts a podcast and bible study channel by the name of Sparrow.Podcast. On a weekly basis, you can find new content regarding the Bible and ministry. He lives and works as an engineer in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, Savannah and they gladly serve at Calvary Apostolic Church.
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