I’ve been contemplating Jesus’ response to the Rich Young Ruler. He arrives questioning Jesus about eternal life, as he’s puzzled about the entrance requirements. Jesus discloses a list of observations that require adherence. The young man has kept all the commands Jesus specified. He asks Jesus, “Is there something else I must do?” Jesus tells him to sell everything he owned, give the proceeds to the poor, and then to follow Him. The man exits sadly because of his many possessions.

One thing I’ve learned over the years in this faith journey is that followship requires Lordship. It doesn’t do any good to observe rules and yet give your heart and life to something other than the one you profess. Jesus doesn’t want you holding onto “little gods” missing the freedom of the Father’s embrace. This account in scripture wasn’t about money, but about the smaller gods we so easily erect and follow in life. Often we think these “little gods” help foster independence and self-reliance. Unfortunately, these “little gods” do just the opposite by further enslaving us to maintain them. Is there something hindering you from following Jesus today? What are the little gods to which you bow down? Are there attitudes, actions, people, or stuff you’re holding on to that’s hindering your followship of Christ? Are you tired of serving the “little gods” yet?

Jesus desires to give you freedom – complete freedom. Saying, “yes” to Jesus and leaving behind all that entangles only opens the gate to the pasture of absolute freedom. Freedom in Christ is nothing like the freedom you’re attempting to create for yourself. You don’t put on shackles when you come to Jesus; He removes the shackles you’ve unknowingly placed on yourself due to captivity’s ignorance.

I’m convinced we can never truly follow Christ without letting loose of all that entangles. Jesus told the rich young ruler to give it all away and then come and follow Him. True freedom in Christ is lived when we let go and follow Him. Do you desire real freedom? Then let go of the crutches you’re leaning upon trying to create your own freedom, which is really nothing more than a self-made prison. You were created for freedom – God has called you to be free! Be free!

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13 (NIV)

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)