"This was Stephen’s reply: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me. Our glorious God appeared to our ancestor Abraham in Mesopotamia before he settled in Haran. God told him, ‘Leave your native land and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you.’[b] 4 So Abraham left the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran until his father died. Then God brought him here to the land where you now live." Acts 7:2-4 (NLT)
If you follow Jesus for any length of time, you already know that He will challenge us to lay down and leave things and relationships that are getting in the way of serving Him. Jesus asks us to do this, not because He takes delight in taking things away from us; He does this because He knows Joy, wholeness, peace, and purpose are found only in Him! Because He loves us completely, like any good parent, He calls us to follow Him, inviting us to give up the things that are slowing us down and trapping us.
Notice, God wasn't calling Abraham away from something but to something, "The land that I will show you." And this is true for us as well. When Jesus is asking you to lay something down and leave it behind, it is because He is calling you to a more wonderful and spirit-filled place. A place of experiencing Him in a greater way in your life! What is Jesus asking you to lay down and leave behind, so you can receive more of Him?
Lord Jesus, help me to see what I need to lay down to follow You with all my heart and give me the strength to do it. Amen