The Bleeding Edge

"What lack I yet?" (Matthew 19:20)

A good question. Somewhat rhetorical, seeing how the young man asking Jesus was so assured of His standing in the things of religion, that he thought he could ask such a pointed (and loaded) question of Jesus.

So Jesus answers him and says, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." (vs. 21)

The overarching idea here isn't necessarily that God would command us to do the same for our lives (He very well could, you'd know though--and have His peace and confidence about it), but the severing of those things that we think are assets but are really hindering us and holding us back. If it's material possessions, divest. Winnow. If it's a limiting mindset of bitterness or inter-denominational bigotry, repent. Ask for forgiveness. Whatever the Holy Spirit puts on your mind and heart.

Look again at the young man who asked this question. If the things he'd done--keeping the commandments of the law since his youth--had sated the yearning and yawning of his soul, he wouldn't have needed to ask what he lacked. He would have lacked nothing. He would've been content. But, "What lack I yet?" Maybe he heard something in Jesus' voice that He recognized as authority. And upon hearing said authority, sensed dissonance between he and the Lord. So he asks and receives. But he doesn't like the answer he's given. "But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions." (verse 22) What he didn't see was that the companionship and love of Jesus was infinitely greater than the cush and posh life of opulence and influence.

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face.

And the things of this world will grow strangely dim.

In light of His glory and grace." —Helen Lemmel 1922

I'm a firm believer that God meets needs. Especially--and I'm very serious about this--within the framework of the free-market, capitalist economy that we take for granted and abuse. But He meets our needs, nonetheless. At times "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think..." (Ephesians 3:20). But! This doesn't mean that we then recline and relax and retire. Those activities are almost always self-serving and ultimately detrimental to our spiritual health. If one has more, then one should be willing to give more. In other words, if one does well, then they should do good. But believe it or not, my point up till now hasn't been about the minimizing of one's material possessions in light of the Gospel. Much has been written already that I don't feel like bandying about. The point I would like to emphasize through this passage is this man's question: "What lack I yet?" And emphasize it I will, in light of things spiritual.

I'm talking about revival.

One glimpse of Jesus will transfix you. When you see the man who gave up everything for you, you become a different person. It's one thing to be saved. To accept Jesus as the atoning sacrifice for the sin that is yours and that you could never make up for. It's quite another to actually see Jesus. Your appetites are reinvigorated and overhauled. The things that satisfied you don't touch the bottom of your soul anymore. There's not the same consideration as before of the things of a transitory nature. Only the things of God's Spirit will do. I say all of that to say that this nation, this world is due for a revival unlike anything it's ever seen.

The cutting edge connotes the radical, the experimental, the untested fields of whatever's in question. But the bleeding edge is even moreso (and cooler sounding). The "bleeding edge" has an element of danger to it. When we sever ties with whatever Jesus puts His finger on that's clotting the flow of His Spirit, we'd do well to realize that He's calling us to follow Him deeper (and higher) into uncharted (by us) territory. There are all sorts of places we could go with this. Misinterpretations ad infinitum. The governing factor of its authenticity is if it's colored by the character of Jesus. And that's unmistakable. He is the sweetest, gentlest, strongest, most intense person you'll ever meet. You'll know it's Him, because well, it's Him. No imposter can hold a candle. "Another Jesus" (see Corinthians 11:4)? Please...

What do we lack? When we humble ourselves and ask of Jesus this simplest of questions with the right heart, He can begin moving us into those areas of unexplored and unclaimed territory for His kingdom. He will answer you.

"As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack." (2 Corinthians 8:15)

"Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." (Isaiah 40:4-5)


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