Many of Jesus’ disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.” As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”
We all know people that are what we call “fair-weather fans”. This means that they will get on the “band-wagon” and root for a cause when that cause is winning, succeeding, etc. These types of terms are often used in sports, politics, etc. It’s easy to root for a winner. But a true fan and/or supporter, always believes and is regularly ready to support. They hold out hope that better days are coming even in the face of utter defeat and chaos. If you look at the life of Abraham Lincoln, there were supporters that stuck with good ‘ol Abe all the way through his highs and lows:
The ones that were there from the beginning with President Lincoln fundamentally-believed in who he was and what he stood for. They celebrated the successes and battled through the losses. They didn’t just go through the motions; they invested and reinvested in him. Jesus isn’t looking for “fair-weather fans”; he’s looking for true, hard-core Believers. He is running this race right beside of us – with us. He is encouraging us to run the race hard and to run it as well as we can with His help. He is calling us to never, ever quit on Him – no matter what. In our day-to-day lives, it isn’t that hard to go to Church each week. It isn’t even very hard to read our Bibles each day or every once in a while. It isn’t too hard to volunteer at a charity or help someone in need. This world can make it very convenient at times to just go through the motions. While all of those things are great, we need to be sure not to miss out on Something so much Greater than just going through the motions. We cannot be lulled to sleep by an enemy who’s only trick is to continually lie to us through a variety of ways. Jesus wants us in Spirit and He wants full, 100% Belief. He wants us to surrender to Him and move past the lies of this world. He wants 100% of us. We are to continue to run this race and to rediscover the Identity that we have in Christ. By focusing on who Christ says that we are (and what He always thinks of us), we will see that our identity in Christ is permanent and can never be moved. This process of Absolute Knowledge from God (Who has the only authority over us) is what will set us free from the flesh and move confidently and Spiritually into the More that God is offering to us. As always, it’s simple to do, but it’s hard – it’s a good hard. We must be keen to remember that we need His help for, “with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). So, ask Him to help you and He will move in you in a way that only our Creator can. After all, we are His design and we must be sure to finish this race strong right through the end.