When Jesus told his friends “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20), did you notice what he didn’t say? He didn’t say:
- I am with you always … whenever you do things for me.
- I am with you always … as long as you are trying your hardest.
- I am with you always … so you better not slack off.
Jesus just said that he is always with you. Always.
He also told them that when it comes to freedom, “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36.) He didn’t say:
- You are free indeed … but only when you do things exactly as I say.
- You are free indeed … but only if you pray and read the Bible every day.
- You are free indeed … but only if you aren’t sinning.
Jesus just said you are free.
Doing and not doing
Jesus is with you always and sets you free indeed. What does this mean for the way you live your life? Let’s ask Yoda:
Do, or do not. There is no try.
But Yoda only gets you halfway there, because in Jesus it’s actually a matter of:
Do, or do not. Jesus is with you.
Does this mean you can sit like a slug and never do anything? No, but it does mean that when deciding between doing one thing or another – or not doing either – you don’t have to fear that only one choice keeps you in God’s favor because that’s not how it works in God’s kingdom.
So if you are ever considering some great opportunity and wonder whether you should pursue it or not, here’s my advice:
Go for it. Or don’t. God is with you either way.