Mark 10:21 | “Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
This scripture calls for sober reflection and introspection.
The rich young ruler had approached Jesus to know what it takes to please God, well, supposedly. He was certain his self-righteousness would grant him approval and acceptance before God. He prided himself in that, until Jesus burst his bubble by revealing a lack in his life which was a stumbling block to his walk with God – He couldn’t give up his wealth.
But then I wonder at two things. Why couldn’t he plead with Jesus to help him obey the instruction, since he was already said to be on his knees in the preceding verse? Or was it all merely a case of show off of piousness, and a display of self-righteousness?
Mark 10:17 | “As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Secondly, why didn’t Jesus call him back when he couldn’t obey the instruction and figure out another way for him, since he loved him?
Whatever be the case, two points are clear. God gives grace to the humble. We cannot come to Him on our own terms, but on His. The flesh frustrates the grace or the help of God. That’s why they that are in the flesh; those who ignore the preferred ways of the Holy Spirit and insist on theirs, cannot impress nor please Him. The Holy Spirit cannot help us if we keep trying to make our ourselves right with God by our own efforts and standards. That was the case with the young man.
Galatians 5:4 GWT | “Those of you who try to earn God’s approval by obeying the law have been cut off from Christ. You have fallen out of God’s favour.”
The second point is that God doesn’t cut corners with anyone. He is not easily taken in by our profession of love or show of piety. He has varied ways of testing and weighing hearts. He will always require you to give up something precious to you, if He must walk intimately with you. For this man, it was his wealth; for Abraham, it was Isaac; for Jesus, it was His very life.
What do you lack? What do you need to lose to fully gain Christ? What is it in your life that may constitute a hinderance in your walk with the Holy Spirit if not addressed? All the man needed to do was to ask Jesus to help his shortcomings. We’re not missing that ourselves.
So, Precious Holy Spirit. Search my heart. Help my inadequacies, and grant me the grace to surrender wholly to Your will. Amen!