“See, we have left everything and followed you…” – Peter Matt 19:27
A month ago I wrote what is now my most read blog post to date. It was about the difficult decision of closing our church after nine years. It would seem it struck a cord with many. I think in part because following Jesus is never as easy as we thought. It requires tough choices and tremendous sacrifice. It can cost us wealth, relationships, reputations and even our lives. It’s contrary to everything we’re taught to chase in this life. We know and face it daily yet we still struggle to share this painful reality out loud. We would rather fake a smile; skirt the truth and white wash our tombs rather than come clean about where we truly are in our walk.
Jesus warned us it wouldn’t be easy to follow him. He was very upfront about his calling and it’s cost. The Bible’s full of stories of the Lord confronting people with this actuality, challenging them to abandon themselves and trust him with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. God is also quite clear that accepting his invitation and surrendering everything to him is the best thing any human being could ever do.
Our family has spent the past few months wrestling with this very thing. What does following Jesus together mean for us right now? We’ve talked, prayed, shared concerns and shed many tears. Ultimately the Spirit has brought us to a place of unity, clarity and faith. Collectively we have come to believe the Lord has asked us to trust and follow him into a new world. This summer the plan is for our family to move to Oklahoma City.
Over the past four years we have developed a great relationship with our friends at Frontline Church and through this time of transition they have been a constant source of encouragement, leadership and grace. They love Jesus and his church and along with the rest of our Acts 29 family, have been incredible evidences of God’s love and kindness toward our family these past few months. Our hope is to spend the next year in community with brothers and sisters in Christ thinking through the past and planning for the future. We are excited to experience a new place and simply worship and enjoy Jesus as a family for a time.
We do not know what awaits us after that, but we know the One we follow is good and has good for those who love him. Often there isn’t more than an invitation from Jesus. Sometimes all we are given is an opportunity to trust grace and follow in faith. Scary, I know. But we have the certainty of the gospel, the promises of scripture and the confidence of God’s love, and in the end isn’t that more than enough?
I’d greatly appreciate your prayers during this time. We’re asking the Lord for his continued peace, clarity and provision, for his Name to shine brightly before us and through us in the days and months to come.
“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.” – Jesus Matt 19:29