I saw a bumper sticker: “If you love someone set them free, if they come back they’re yours forever, if they don’t, hunt them down and shoot them.” The saying actually is: “If you love someone set them free, if they come back they’re yours; if they don’t, they never were.”
Giving up, turning loose, setting free, change of any kind is not easy. It made me think. What are you willing to give up to get what you want? Ask Moses, he was raised as a Prince living in the palace of the Pharaoh, and he left all the splendor of that life to become the savior to his people, leading them out of slavery in Egypt. In turn, he was permitted to see God face to face on the mountain and was given the Ten Commandments, written by God’s own hand! On the other hand, Samson gave up the life of being a respected judge of Israel to become a “donkey”, a slave pushing a huge grinding wheel and becoming the laughing stock of the Philistines. He regained favor with God, at the price of his life.
John the Baptist gave up the life of a normal man, a priest like his father wearing normal clothes and eating good food to become a Prophet proclaiming the coming Messiah, wearing animal skins inside out, eating locust and honey! His reward was being the baptizer of the Christ and knowing that his message had been fulfilled, even though he lost his head for it.
Jesus gave up his heavenly home, trading the royal garments of the Son of God for a bed of straw in a manger and homespun garments. He was the Son of the Most High God, tried by every trial possible and mastered all the trials without sin. He did not experience sin in order to save us, only the temptation of it, proving that it could be overcome because He did it robed in human flesh, just like us. He walked, talked, ate, slept and laughed with a group of men, but He always knew Who He was. He drew away from the crowds, and His men, often so that He could pray. When He prayed for the final time in the Garden, He willingly gave up His life so that we could be redeemed from all our sin.
What do you want, and what are you willing to do? God isn’t asking for your death, He only wants your life, live it for Him. Matthew 6:33 “Seek ye first the Kingdom of heaven and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.”