Matthew 19:20-22 (Amplified Bible)
20The young man said, I have observed all these from my youth; what still do I lack?
21Jesus answered him, If you would be perfect [that is, have that spiritual maturity which accompanies self-sacrificing character], go and sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; and come, be My disciple [side with My party and follow Me].
22But when the young man heard this, he went away sad (grieved and in much distress), for he had great possessions.
We read this and tend to feel sorry for the Rich Man. Poor guy? Give everything up? All he worked so hard for?! Gosh, Jesus was harsh! Couldn't Jesus have cut him some slack?
God is so demanding. I'd rather be comfortable pretending I'm a Christian than to actually pursue God. I don't want to let go of what I've got going for me. The whole "Christ" thing isn't worth it!
Are you kidding me!? Is there anything worth more than an experience with Christ!? He took ignorant, uneducated fisherman and made them into world-altering history makers! The face of half the planet was changed because men like Peter and James walked through and shared with people from all regions their experience with Christ!!! I mean, James was a half-brother of Jesus, and at the face of painful death, with all he could muster, still proclaimed that Jesus was his Lord and Savior, the Messiah! Peter, who denied Christ at the resurrection, refused to be crucified right-side up - because he wasn't worthy to die on the cross like Christ did, and thus was crucified and hung upside down! There's no possible way you could live - and die - like this, without having an impact on someone else.
And there's no way anyone could live - and die - like this, without having experienced Christ. And that's what the disciples did. They drank the wine that was made from water. They handed out the never ending supply of bread and fishes from just ONE poor boy's lunch. They saw the dead girl rise in the middle of her funeral service and come back to life. They saw lepers healed, blind eyes opened. And more than just SAW it, Jesus sent them out to DO it! They were able to see the power of God working THROUGH them to accomplish the same miracles themselves.
Can you put a dollar figure on that? Can you put a dollar figure on seeing the dead come to life? On seeing total healing? On seeing supernatural provision? Nope. I sure can't! But the problem is, when we read this passage, that we focus more on what the Rich Man has to give up that we fail to see all that is being offered by Christ at this moment! And what we focus on determines our reality.
We can't experience true fulfillment in our life if we put our identity in ANYTHING other than our relationship with Christ. Even your greatest assets will be your greatest liability if you aren't using them for what God purposed!
Maybe those that walk away from Christ, or aren't convinced of Him, are the ones who never really stepped out of their box (everything THEY wanted) to see what a relationship with Christ is like. Maybe instead of accumulating possessions we should be accumulating experiences with Him.
Because I'm not crazy in saying that I've seen, through prayer, God raise someone who's heart had stop beating for 10 minutes. I've seen God take my unborn son at 6 weeks, who had a lower heart rate than I did, and form him into the now 4 year old child who is without defect. I've seen God take my car on an empty tank and with no money and still drive it - without damage for the car - for a full work week. I have been at home, looking at Paul, wondering what in the world are we going to eat - only to receive a knock on the door and have a neighbor offer us Chinese take out. I have seen a demon-possessed woman walk up to me with the full intention of cursing me and being forced to walk away without ever speaking to me - while I did nothing but sit. You can call me crazy, but you can't take away my testimony from me. All three of my kids are walking miracles only because they were GOD's first. I could've lost all three, Anakin at first, Brielle and Caleb closer to child birth, had not God intervened. Heck, I could've died giving birth to Brielle. I was in the ICU six hours after the delivery because I was going unconscious and would stop breathing.
You can call me crazy, but you can't take away my testimony from me! My life experiences, what happened to me as I lived it - and those around me as witnesses - are the truth whether you think it would happen or not. And make no mistake, it wasn't me or Paul, or a doctor, or a bank, or a model of car, or luck.... it was Christ. It was only and exclusively Christ.
I'd rather have a treasury of experiences where I can "taste and see that the Lord is good" than anything this world could have to offer anyways...