Where does Jesus Christ figure in when we have a concern about our natural relationships? Most of us will desert Him with this excuse—”Yes, Lord, I heard you call me, but my family needs me and I have my own interests. I just can’t go any further” (see Luke 9:57-62). “Then,” Jesus says, “you ’cannot be My disciple’ ” (see Luke 14:26-33).
True surrender will always go beyond natural devotion. If we will only give up, God will surrender Himself to embrace all those around us and will meet their needs, which were created by our surrender. Beware of stopping anywhere short of total surrender to God. Most of us have only a vision of what this really means, but have never truly experienced it.
He did it again. there is no natural. a lot of us have a natural affinity for the things of God and we take such deep advantage of this gift and eventually believe the deceipt that this has something to do with spiritual power but all and all it's not the acolades or abilities but total surrender in the "other" places where we are weak, where we are desperate, where we are vulnerable. That's God's measure of surrender for us, not in our obedience to the call but our surrender to everything else.
To be more precise the "educated, mature christian" thinks himself fairly capable of being close to God and (almost without thinking) defends the eternally secure position of devotion. We think ourselves worthy of some credit, our walk has been tested, our character intact, and our failures swept under the rug, we think ourselves in some ways almost commendable, but "the trap lies in wait for those most unawares". We are never farther from God than when we lose account of our desperate need of mercy and grace and we are never closer than when the complete gulf of his holiness and our filth is blatantly on display before us and the world. I have friends who have fallen fast and hard, shaming themselves and the gospel they so willingly proclaimed, and in a way that fall is the thing that saved them, it proved God's grace isn't for the quick or the talented or even the adequately equipped, His grace is for fallen man, period, whatever place, whatever circumstance, his grace cuts through the B.S. of our pretenses and our excuses and our disbelief and rescues us from ourselves.