Though we often cannot see it, there is a way through this life. Christ is “the way.” In the Bible, Christians were described as those who were following “the way.” So, what is this “way?” How does it differ from normal religious observances and commonplace religiosity?
It must be different than a set of rules or principles and it must stand in stark contrast to the religions of the day. There are many philosophies and religions that will tell us how to worship God or achieve success, but there is only one “way”, one Jesus Christ, one road to abundant and eternal life. This “way” is more than just wise living, more than just holy living, even more than having a kind and loving heart. This “way” is death to self and surrender to Christ—body, soul, and spirit. And this is why it is often a lonely and difficult path. It is not popular with the multitudes. There may be many who will want to imitate it, hoping for some measure of success, but there are only a chosen few who will choose this “way” as their life. These are the ones who have “counted the cost” and made an informed decision to forsake all for the sake of The King.
Why must if be so radical and austere? Why can’t it be easier? Why can’t it be more inclusive? Luke gives us a clue when he recounts Jesus’s parables about counting the cost. He tells of a king going to war against an army that far outnumbers his, and he tells of a man building a tower and not having enough supplies to finish it. The conclusion is that “unless you give up all of your possessions, you cannot be my disciples.” The point is that we must be fully surrendered to Christ, or we will be defeated by the sheer number of opposing factors or the logistical considerations of what it takes to complete a project such as Christ has undertaken in us. It is the overwhelming audacity of The Father’s kingdom vision that demands such selfless sacrifice. It is the radiant glory of our eternal inheritance that demands the sacrifice of all lesser allegiances. Without a doubt, this “way” will lead us straight to The Father’s heart, straight to oneness with Christ, and, ultimately, straight to eternal riches and glory which surpass all earthly descriptions!
~ Brad Heilhecker