If the closest relationships of my life clash with the claims of Jesus Christ, Jesus says my choice must be instant obedience to him. Discipleship means passionate devotion to a person—to our Lord, Jesus Christ. There is a difference between devotion to a person and devotion to a cause. Our Lord never proclaimed a cause; he proclaimed that we should be personally devoted to him. To be a disciple is to be a devoted love-slave of the Lord.

Many of us who call ourselves Christians aren’t devoted to Jesus Christ. We may admire Jesus Christ, we may respect and reverence him, but we do not love him. The only lover of Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit, and the only way anyone on earth can possess passionate love for Jesus is if the Holy Spirit imparts it to them; it is the Spirit who puts the love of God in our hearts. When the Holy Spirit sees a chance of glorifying Jesus through you, he will take your heart, your nerves, your whole personality, and make you simply blaze and glow with devotion to the Lord.

What does this devotion look like? The life of the devoted Christian is marked by the moral originality that comes from abandonment to God. This spontaneous obedience to the Spirit leaves the Christian disciple open to a charge that was leveled against Jesus Christ: the charge of inconsistency. But Jesus Christ was always consistent to God. As Christians, we must be consistent to the life of the Son of God inside us, not to our creeds and ideologies. People pour themselves into creeds. God has to blast them out of their prejudices before they can become devoted to Jesus Christ.

Wisdom from Oswald

The fiery furnaces are there by God’s direct permission. It is misleading to imagine that we are developed in spite of our circumstances; we are developed because of them. It is mastery in circumstances that is needed, not mastery over them. The Love of God—The Message of Invincible Consolation, 674 R