hat would your life look like if you went all in and stopped holding back? What could happen in one year’s time if you lived every day like it’s the only day you’ve got? What if you stopped wasting this, just in case it’s your last shot?
We’re talking about no regrets in the end. Living with no what ifs.
A young man once came to Jesus and asked what he would have to do to have eternal life. Jesus first told him to follow his commands. The man proudly said, “I do follow your commands, but what else?” Matthew 19:21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” The next verse says the young man went away sad, because he had many possessions.
Why do you think Jesus told him he had to sell everything he had? Is that a requirement of heaven? Does your salvation require for you to give everything away? Jesus said this specifically to this young man because money and possessions were standing in the way of him fully following Jesus.
And that day, the man held back. He walked away, wondering ‘what if’. What if I did give up all of this to follow Jesus? What if I did let go of all that keeps me stuck here? What if that exchange would have been life changing with eternal impact? But he walked away sad, because he had so much to hold on to.
Does God need all your money? Nope. His resources are greater than anything you could ever imagine. It’s all his. If he needs it, he has the power to create it. Remember the story in Matthew 17 of Peter needing money to pay his taxes, and Jesus instructs him to go down to the lake and catch a fish, and within that fish’s mouth would be a large silver coin, enough to pay both of their taxes.
You and I have experienced something similar in less impressive ways when we found that $20 bill just when we needed it most. Where did it come from? Oh you could make up some perfectly logical explanation, I’m sure, but maybe it was just God providing in supernatural ways for his girl through his abundant resources. He can drop a 20 anywhere he wants.
So, why would Jesus tell this young man he had to give up all his possessions to follow him? Because his possessions were the one thing keeping him from following.
Imagine what this man must have felt when just 8 chapters later, he saw Jesus crucified on the cross, then hearing how he rose from the grave. Then he knew. He knew he should have followed him. He should have dropped everything and gone for it, but he didn’t.
So what was he left with? Regret. In the end, he had a whole lot of what ifs. What if I would have gone? What if I would have believed? What if I would have trusted?
Understand, this young man was receiving an invitation to become one of Jesus’ disciples. Think about it, that’s exactly what he said to the fishermen, Peter, James, Andrew and John. He said, “follow me.” But to follow him, they had to leave something. What did they have to leave? They had to drop their nets and walk away from the catch of a lifetime. They had just hauled in so many fish their boats were sinking. As professional fishermen, this was an abundance of provision. This was everything! The ultimate jack pot. And Jesus said, “come, follow me.” The same words he had spoken to the rich young man.
The difference is, the fishermen dropped everything and followed Jesus. No regrets, they went for it.
What if Jesus is inviting you into the adventure of a lifetime? The adventure of following and trusting him. The adventure of living in the middle of his miracles and playing an active role in his eternal mission. What if Jesus has all of this aligned for you, available to you, made possible for you, but it will require one thing of you … It will require you to actually go for it.
Dropping every excuse and entanglement that has ever held you back, and going. Daring to believe you were created for more than just waking up every day and going through the motions in a mind numbingly boring life, just hoping things will change for you one day. Nothing is going to change unless you do!
Maybe you’ve been doing exactly what the rich young man did when he walked away from the invitation to be one of Jesus’ disciples, you just don’t realize it. You’re building up so much dang regret on the daily, but it’s all become so habitually normal you don’t even see it.
You always say no.
You always sit it out.
You always push it off until later.
There’s always some sort of excuse.
You always talk yourself out of it.
All while Jesus has presented you an invitation to live this one life fully, abundantly, to absolute overflowing, but you’ve unknowingly refused the offer because you have a habit of saying no. You have a habit of dismissing yourself. You have a habit of making excuses. You have a habit of procrastinating. You have a habit of quitting. You have a habit of hoping someone else will do it. You have a habit of waiting until it’s easier.
And all of this has created a sadness in your life you can’t quite put your finger on. Honey, you’re sad because you’ve been walking away from the invitation to live this one life you’ve been given with no regrets. Instead, every day the what ifs have been stacking up and the weight of all this regret is crushing you.
But here’s the good news … Jesus hasn’t given up on you. He hasn’t cancelled the life you were created for. He will realign opportunities you sat out on last time. He’s bringing it back around to you, Sis, now what are you going to do about it?
In the wee, dark hours of this morning when my alarm rang, I realized I had been singing a song in my sleep. My first thoughts this morning came in a song:
What if today’s the only day I got?
I don’t wanna waste it if it’s my last shot
No regrets, in the end
I wanna know I got no what ifs
Yes, it’s the Matthew West song “What If”. A song written to make you think about when you will be asking “what if”. Oh, you will ask, it’s just a matter of WHEN will you be asking.
Your first option is asking what if right now. While your story is still being written. While you still have time. While you can do something about it. What if I made that change? What if I asked for help? What if I stepped out and took that chance? What if I said what I need to say? What if I just went for it? What if I got started today? What if I just kept going?
Or will you wait until it’s all too late and it’s the end, and you’re asking from a past tense. What if I would have changed back then? What if I would have stuck with it? What if I would have believed God really did have those good plans for my life? What if I would have reached out?
You have been given the opportunity to answer that question now.
Now, while you still have a chance to do something different.
Now, while the offer is still available.
Now, while there’s still that beating in your chest reminding you to drop everything that has ever held you back and follow Jesus into that abundant, overflowing life he came to give you.
And then, in the end, you’ll know, you have no what ifs!