I will be preparing to leave the house for the day. After gathering all of my stuff before heading out the door, I will have the sudden feeling that something is missing. But what is it? I will go through a mental checklist that goes something like this: keys, billfold, checkbook, sunglasses, coffee, etc. That’s when it will hit me. I laid down my keys somewhere in the house, or I left my cup of coffee on the kitchen counter, or I forgot to pick up my sunglasses (a necessity of life in SW Florida).
Has that ever happened to you? You know something is missing, but what?
That’s the question that weighed on the mind of the Rich Young Ruler. In his spiritual quest for eternal life, he approached Jesus asking, “What must I do?” Jesus told him. Running down the checklist of requirements the young man thought, “I’ve done all of these.” That’s when it occurred to him something was missing. He asked Jesus, “What do I still lack?” (Matthew 19:20).
There are times in life when you’ve done everything you know to do in a given situation. You’ve crossed all the “T’s” and dotted all the “I’s”. You’ve done it all, but it doesn’t seem to be enough. The situation doesn’t change. The mountain doesn’t move. That’s when you feel compelled to ask with the Rich Young Ruler, “What do I still lack?”
There are other times when you know something is lacking in your walk with the Lord. Have you been there? You read the list of the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) and discover that an attribute like peace, endurance, or self-control is currently missing from your life. Maybe you are coming up short concerning one of the ten laws for living (Exodus 20:2-17). Or you might realize a certain spiritual discipline has gone dormant in your faith walk.
It’s encouraging to remember Jesus didn’t ignore the Rich Young Ruler’s question when he asked, “What do I still lack?” He told the young man, “One thing you lack” (Mark 10:21). Jesus identified the issue. He will do the same for us because He desires to perfect that which is lacking in our faith (1 Thessalonians 3:10). Jesus doesn’t condemn us when we confess something is lacking. He addresses the issue for the sake of correction. The Lord’s will is that we would “lack nothing” (1 Thessalonians 4:12).
Does it seem like your spiritual life is misfiring somewhere? Do you sense that something is missing? Then ask the Lord about it. “What do I still lack?” It’s an honest question that will receive an honest answer. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free (John 8:32).
Pastor Todd Weston