Giving Jesus Our Choices
By Jill Briscoe
I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go. ~ John 21:18 (NLT)
Discipleship not only involves a call, a commitment, and a commission; it involves a cost – the loss of our independence. Our responsibilities take hold of our rights and lead them to places we would not choose to go.
Jesus spoke of this to Peter. Peter was crucified upside down. That surely was not the way Peter would have chosen to die! But he had no choice. When we are truly His disciples, Jesus makes our choices for us.
The thing that matters most to us is freedom – to dress ourselves as we wish, to come and go when we please, and to use our hands to shape our own destiny. Yet in once sentence, Jesus told Peter that discipleship would cost him all these freedoms. Another will dress him; cruel men will force him to walk to a dreadful, inverted cross, where his hands will be stretched out and his freedom to hold his own destiny, crucified.
Not all of us will be called to glorify God by such a death. But we are certainly called to glorify God by our lives. Commitment costs. Yet we need to remember the cost will be rewarded with a crown. When Jesus had finished talking with Peter about this matter, He said to him, “Follow me” (John 21:19). Peter gave his choices into the hands of Jesus and obeyed. Will we?
Lord, I want my life to glorify You. But I say this all too often, without realizing what I am saying. Give me strength and courage to follow You to places I would not choose to go. Help me to have an unwavering commitment to You, so that I give my choices to You freely, and obey You openly. Amen.