There is an interesting story of a wealthy young man who wanted to be with Jesus. He was a kind, merciful, pious man who placed confidence in a lot of his actions. But his heart was in the right place as he spoke with the Lord. “Jesus looked him hard in the eye – and loved him! He said, ‘There’s ONE THING left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.’ At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth” (Mark 10:21-23).
Jesus probed his heart for the ONE THING that held him back from truly, completely following God. Unfortunately, that ONE THING was too overwhelming and too important to let go of. He was in the process of making a grave mistake: holding on to earthly riches and denying the heavenly, eternal treasures that were within reach. He chose wealth over a relationship with Christ. The Bible is full of people who allowed ONE THING: an issue, a weakness, a person, an attitude, etc. to endanger their relationship with God:
- The servant with one talent: laziness (Matthew 25:24-30).
- People represented by the goats: selfishness (Matthew 25:45).
- The Twelve Disciples: pride (Mark 9:33-37).
- James and John: ego (Mark 10:35-36).
- The woman with the hemorrhage and the man born blind: physical disability (Luke 8:34-38, John 9:1-41)
- The man who wanted to bury his father: family (Luke 9:57-62).
- Martha: work (Luke 10:38-42).
- The nine lepers: ingratitude. (Luke 17:11-19).
- Simon Peter: fear or insecurity (Luke 22:54-62).
- Judas Iscariot: unmet expectations (Matthew 27:1-5).
- Thomas: doubt (John 20:24-29).
- Saul of Tarsus: religious zeal (Philippians 3:1-10).
- The Church of Ephesus: left their first love (Revelation 2:4).
Ask yourself: What is my ONE THING? The ONE THING keeping me from truly, completely follow Christ? Is it worth holding onto knowing that it’s hindering my relationship with God?
King David had power, warriors, riches, reputation, multiple wives (which I still don’t understand), several children, and more than anyone could imagine. Yet, he possessed the key to much more than this world could ever offer. “The ONE THING I ask of the LORD — the thing I seek most — is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple” (Psalm 27:4).