One Thing You Lack
For many Christians, the story is a familiar one. A wealthy young man approaches Jesus and asks, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17-22) Upon Jesus reminding him of several commandments, the young man insists that he had done all the commandments require. Looking at him with compassion, Jesus then responds, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess…”
Jesus was not trying to make the man’s life miserable. Instead, He was putting His finger on the one obstacle keeping the young ruler from drawing close to God: his love for money. Evidently, the guy had both enormous material resources and a stellar moral upbringing, but He lacked where it mattered most—in His personal relationship with God.
The U.S. Church
The story of the rich young ruler, in many ways, reminds me of the church in the U.S.A. We have so much, and yet, statistics tell us the church at large is still bankrupt in spiritual vitality. Is the problem our wealth? Perhaps to a degree. But there is much more to the story.
Writing and publishing books to facilitate spiritual growth is a vital part of my ministry. Today is a wonderful, terrible time to be writing books. The publishing world is wonderful because advances in technology over the last decade now enable practically anybody to write and publish a book. The publishing world is also terrible because advances in technology over the last decade now enable practically anybody to write and publish a book.
Technology has provided me with an amazing opportunity, but also a massive amount of competition.
One Thing You Lack
During the many months that I contemplated embarking on this ministry path, I would often look at circulars advertising hundreds upon hundreds of books. “Why,” I would ask myself “should I do something that so many others are already doing?” The U.S. church has such an abundance of resources! Still, if Jesus were here in the flesh to walk among us, I believe He would say, “One thing you lack…”
What is that one thing? The wisdom to live out an abiding relationship with our Creator.
I am not talking about more information or more requirements. Legalists would tell us we need to do a better job of following the rules. Religionists would say that we are not giving proper attention to certain rites and sacraments. Progressions would demand that relax our emphasis on Biblical authority and be more inclusive.
God Thinks Differently!
No, there is something more to the story. God, you see, does not think the way humans think (Isaiah 55:6-9). If we try to walk with Him by using common sense or human wisdom, we will fail miserably. And in so many ways, that is where our problem lies. All of our abundance falls woefully short if we do not learn the dynamics of living out an abiding relationship with our Lord.
The one thing we lack is the reason I have given my life to writing and ministry. I do not simply want to repeat or rehash what others are doing. I want to identify and expound upon an understanding of the vital areas of life related to knowing and walking with God.
Adding the One Thing
Our abundance is not a bad thing; I am so thankful for it. Even so, we need to dig deeper to identify and understand the core issues of human nature and how to align them with God’s design. If we can learn to do the one thing, all of the other things will come together to compliment it amazingly well.
Is there a significant cost involved? Absolutely! Just as there was for the rich young ruler. But the reward is oh so worth the effort.
One thing you lack, seek to understand how to better abide in a vital relationship with God.
He is worthy of the effort!