It's an all or nothing thing.
I know that. I have known that. For a long time. But the thing about the Gospel is that I don't think we often take it at face value. Jesus said this, so therefore we must do *insert multiple other things that Jesus didn't say*. Or we feel the need to twist our understanding of the written word of God so that it can be as complicated as our lives are. Or we simply don't apply the basic truth the Gospel presents us with and are left wanting, coming to a faulty conclusion that this just not be worth it.
But it is worth it. I just lose sight oftentimes.
I fail to see the simplicity of the Gospel sometimes. The fact that the Word of God is simply true and doesn't fail. It doesn't change it's meaning, and it works. But to be completely honest, I'm a works-oriented person and if I don't check my list off I feel like I've shortchanged God somehow. Like I've failed Him. I preach truth to others and tell them that the Gospel is about an exchanged life, it's about a passionate relationship, it's not about your works, and then I go and try and try again to pull off something that Jesus never asked me to do on my own.
In fact, all He really ever asked me was for full possession of my life.
He promises life abundant, joy everlasting, incredible strength, and victory immeasurable. But it's only accessible if I obey His simple commandment: take up your cross and follow Me. Following Jesus isn't about the things I do for Him, it's about resting in the work that He has already done. Life with Christ is about nothing else than me surrendering to what He did and wants to continue to do. Abundant and unhindered life comes from spending my time gazing at Jesus in awe and wonder, basking in the victory of Cross, and declaring myself to be nothing but His and His alone. As John the Baptist so simply put it, "He must increase, but I must decrease." The Gospel is a simple Gospel. It's not confusing, it's nothing but an invitation for an exchanged life. My rags for His riches. My death for His life.
I'm coming back to the understanding that though the Gospel is simple, if I don't walk in the simple truth that has been revealed it is nothing but wasted. The Gospel may be simple, but it is sacred and entrusted to us. If I choose to make it my battle cry, I must abide by it. I must abide in Him. My life will not declare to the nations, to the world, to my coworkers, to my family, to my church family, that Jesus is alive and worth it if I only give Him a small part of it. The Gospel isn't me fitting Him in. It's me laying prostrate at the feet of Jesus in adoration and letting Him rearrange me. It's me surrendering 100% of myself to gain 100% of Him. It's the exchanged life. There's no room for the both of us in me. It has to be Jesus or me. And I'm pretty tired of giving Him the throne and then pushing Him off, only to do it all again. If life with Jesus is as simple as picking up my cross to follow Him, and if it's worth the millions of Believers all over the world dying daily for His testimony, then I'm going to take it at face value. I'm going to believe that what He says is true and that IT WORKS. No matter what anyone else or any experience may say. I choose to believe the simple Gospel.
He asked for full possession. What more could I do than to say, "Yes, Lord"?