Jesus replies to Peter that the disciples will be amply rewarded for their sacrifice. But he also makes clear that their reason for following him shouldn’t be anything they’ll get in return. It must be entirely for Jesus himself: “for me and the gospel” (Mark 10:29).

Beware of an abandonment that has a self-interested spirit in it. Too often, we abandon ourselves to God because we want to be made holy or delivered from sin. We will be, if we are rightly related to him, but this demanding spirit is not in line with the essential nature of Christianity.

Abandonment is not for any thing at all. We’ve become so commercialized in our thinking that we go to God only when we want something. It’s as if we’re saying, “I don’t want you, God. I want myself: a clean, Spirit-filled version of myself. I want to be put on display in your showroom, and to be able to say, ‘See what God has done for me.’”

If we give something to God only because we want something in return, there is nothing of the Holy Spirit in our abandonment: it is miserable, commercial self-interest. To gain heaven, to be delivered from sin, to be made useful to God: real abandonment never considers these things. Real abandonment is a personal sovereign preference for Jesus Christ himself.

When we are forced to choose between our natural relationships and Jesus Christ, most of us desert him. “I did hear your call, Lord,” we say. “But my spouse needs me; my mother needs me; my self- interest needs me.” “Such a person,” Jesus replies, “cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). It is always natural devotion that tests abandonment. Rise to the test, and God will embrace all those you hurt when you abandoned yourself to him.

Wisdom from Oswald

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried. He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R