When there is something you want, you work hard to get it.

Nobody wakes up one day and runs a marathon. It takes planning and dedication. In the months leading up to a race, a runner will change everything about their life in order to be able to cross the finish line. Their diet, sleep schedule, and, of course, amount of exercise all change. For months, runners will increase their weekly miles and daily distances. They will cut out certain social obligations or pleasures all for the sake of accomplishing their goal.

Following Jesus is much like training for a marathon. This is why the author of Hebrews encourages his readers to

“...lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and…run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1b-2)

Apprenticeship to Jesus requires practice. Christlikeness doesn’t happen overnight. As we daily learn to allow his life to become our own, our desires and priorities change. It isn’t something that we can do partially. No marathoner can cut their training in half and expect the same results.

Practicing the way of Jesus isn’t something that happens only when it’s convenient or culturally acceptable. If life in the Spirit is what you desire, then it will require your full devotion.

Have you sat down and considered what it will cost you to devote your life to being an apprentice to Jesus?
What are you holding onto?
What aspects of your life do you have trouble submitting to God?

Submission, or lack thereof, is ultimately an issue of trust. The amount to which you trust God will determine the ease to which you submit and surrender your life to him.

Do you trust that he cares for you?
Do you trust that he has your best in mind?
Do you trust that God can provide better for you than you can for yourself?

Trust isn’t easy, but wholehearted devotion to Jesus is impossible without it.

Ask the Lord to reveal to you the areas in your life that you have trouble submitting to him. Surrender those things or areas to him and ask him to walk with you as you learn, day by day, to loose your grip and trust him.