What is radical abandonment?
Websters Dictionary defines radical as "marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional" and abandonment as "to give (oneself) over unrestrainedly".
So in regards to our faith I can venture to say that "radical abandonment" means departing considerably from the usual or traditional in order to give oneself up unrestrainedly to the Lord.
Wow! That is a mouthful of a definition and a deeply convicting thought.
Is my life marked by radical abandonment?
I would like to say "yes, absolutely!" but the truth of the matter is that I don't think that I am. In Luke 9:57-62, Jesus describes to 3 different people the cost of following him. It is a huge cost. It is homelessness, it is not being present in major times of life like the death of a loved one, it is being separated from dearly loved family and friends. It is radical abandonment.
As Jesus called these people, so too God has called me to leave behind all things that I am comfortable with in life and follow after Him. I don't believe that it is His desire that I be uncomfortable in life but that I would be so trusting of His hand and character that I would be willing should He call me to abandon all.
He has called me to radical abandonment.
In his book Radical, David Platt asks two questions of himself that I am asking of myself.
1. Am I going to believe Jesus?
2. Am I going to obey Jesus?
These questions should be no-brainers! The answers should be "yes". I should be completely and utterly willing to believe Jesus and obey Him. It should be so easy.
But in all honesty, it is not.
I struggle with believing God. It is hard for me to believe that He has my best interests at heart. It is hard for me to believe that He truly cares for me. It is hard for me to believe that He will work everything together for good in my life. It is hard for me to believe that He listens to me.
Because I struggle with believing Him, I struggle with obeying Him. If I don't believe that He intends good for me, that He truly cares for me, that He listens to me, that He loves me, then I live life continually defeated, down, and in despair. I don't trust God and believe Him for who He says He is.
This is unbelief!
As I venture into this season of learning how to be "radical" in my faith my prayer is that I would surrender to God every nook and crannie of my heart and life. That as I die to myself, that He would hold me up and assure me of His love, His provision, and His acceptance.
I lay my heart out as the father prayed in Mark 9:24 "I believe, help my unbelief!"