Water finds the path of least resistance. Want proof? Just place a barrier into any stream, and the water will simply find the easy way around it. It won’t first choose to climb over the barrier. It would only do that if its path is blocked completely, otherwise it takes the way of least opposition. Pour water on any flat surface and it seeks to descend into every crack and indentation. Water would rather go lower than sit on top.
Disciples, unfortunately, cannot take the same easy way around as does water. When obstacles block their progress, disciples must choose to stay on top, to take the high ground; they must opt for the hard road. In fact, Y’shua often separated Himself and moved to higher ground, or to the other side of the sea, or He delivered an impossible message, just to separate who would follow from those who would take the path of least resistance. The journey of a disciple begins with some miraculous encounter with the Lord and then moves to this phase; “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” And then Y’shua challenges your offer with some version of this; “Okay, let’s get started! Here is what you can expect as one of My followers; it will be a life of zero possessions, zero comfort, zero security and zero certainty. Still want to follow?”
And, as soon as it does not appear to be all sunshine and rainbows, too often the would-be follower reacts with some form of excuse: I’m coming, but let me go check my work schedule first; or let me get the approval of my wife; or let me calculate the current valuation of my stock portfolio; or let me evaluate the condition of my business ventures, so I can determine if it’s a good time for me.
Note to self: it’s NEVER a good time!
Other times the disciple-to-be bypasses the “I’ll get back to you phase” altogether, and just fast-tracks his excuse, conceding quickly to his wind-blown thinking, “Thank you, but no thank you; I changed my mind.” It’s a life of excuses that fuels the easy way around, rather than a life of reasons; reasons to energize a leap over the barrier; or reasons to empower knocking it down; or reasons to simply exercise the patience necessary to wait in front of it, until it crumbles before your faith.
Then there are those who do jump right in, but when it gets challenging, that is when they change their minds; their past life starts to look so good again. As such, they return to their old ways and never look back. Others have even convinced themselves that they really did choose to follow, only to realize when pressed that they never actually joined in the first place. They are easily exposed as being completely unprepared when asked, “Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?” Such a question leaves them speechless. If that is you, things will end very badly.
I guess the question remains, “Which type of ‘disciple’ are you?” When He says, “Follow Me into a life of zero possessions, zero comfort, zero security and zero certainty!” do you tell Him you will get back to Him after you check your schedule; that you might have some dead bodies to bury. Or do you say, “Lord, to whom else shall I go? You are the only One with the words of eternal life.” And for good doctrine’s sake, let’s make this clear; the only true disciple is the one who sees “zero” as a perfectly acceptable option!