I Do Not Negotiate – Solitary Man

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I Do Not Negotiate

June 30, 2024 11:56 AM
Solitary Man


My son, why do so many of my people stumble over my words? Why are my sayings so hard to accept? It is because they do not grasp the true nature of genuine salvation. They have been listening to preachers preaching another Jesus. They are led to believe that following me is a series of negotiations. That you actually have something to negotiate with!

Exactly what do you think you have? Your time? Your money? Your talents? All you have to offer me is your sin. What sort of power to negotiate do you think you have?

Let us look at my word:

Mat 8:18 Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.
Mat 8:19 And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
Mat 8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
Mat 8:21 And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
Mat 8:22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

The scribe thought he could offer Jesus his time. My response indicated that he believed his physical needs would always be taken care of. I greatly disabused him of that notion.

Do I take care of my servant’s day to day needs? That goes without saying. Yet to follow me may mean days, and even seasons, of deprivation and lack, all in the service of fulfilling my will. As a good soldier in my army, do you think you will always have a comfy bed to go home to after a hard day’s battle? Will there not be times when you must sleep in the field, exposed to the elements, with the enemy shelling all around you? Of course these things are so.

When you make the choice to sign up in the Lord’s army, you life is not your own anymore. Whatever assignment I give, regardless of the cost, must be carried out. You do not get to negotiate. Either you fully enlist, or you will be sent home, unfit for the master’s use.

Now look at the second example. Note this was one of my disciples, one who had already made the commitment to follow me. This wasn’t some bystander, caught up in the emotion of the moment, perhaps overly excited after witnessing a miracle or two. No, this one had been following me.

He asked for a leave of absence in order to help out at home. His family needed help taking care of a dying father. Yet I refused his request.

Why did I do that? Was I hard hearted? Unreasonable? Isn’t one of the great commandments to honor your father and mother? Wasn’t this fellow acting responsibly?

Of course all these things are true. However I saw into this man’s heart. Family did indeed come first in his life. Family came before me.

I do not negotiate. Should you take care of loved ones? Of course. Should you put them above all else? Absolutely not. If you have chosen to follow me, your life is no more your own. Sometimes I will call you to do the hard thing. The unreasonable thing. You will have no other god before me.

I saw into his heart. I knew his family situation. I saw that he still placed approval by his family, and their opinion of him, above me. So what on the surface seemed a harsh response was actually a blessing, as I revealed to him the true state of his heart. I let it be made known that in his case, his family members were not interested in the things of God, they were dead to me. Let the dead bury their own dead.

I could go on and speak of other examples, such as the rich young ruler. Suffice it to say that in this final shaking of my body, you are receiving a special blessing in that I will not allow you to remain in your ignorance. In thinking you can negotiate with me. In serving me with half measures, inserting clauses and conditions in your obedience, as if you’re signing some sort of business contract.

Search your hearts. See yourself at my feet, professing your commitment to me. What do you think I would say in response? Would I say, “Here is a disciple indeed, in whom I have found no guile.” or would I challenge you to forsake that one thing that comes to your mind, even now, as you read these words?

Solitary Man


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