We are to be imitators of Christ and ambassadors for Him while we are on this earth. Let us represent Him in a way that is fitting and honoring of the King we represent. ~S. Hastings
Isn't it funny how you can know something, yet, when the Holy Spirit puts His revelatory spin on it, it shines a whole new light on things. That's been happening to me a lot lately. The things that God has been showing me makes me realize I need to take the time to stop and listen to what He's saying, not just brush it off and say, "Yea, I already know all that." He is showing me that all the things I've been going through are all part of the process of following Him. Shaping me and molding me into His image is part of the "following" process. Following Him is not by any means an easy thing to do. Let's look a little more closely at what it means to follow Him.
In Matthew 4:19, Jesus calls the first of His disciples (Peter, Andrew, James, and John) and tells them, "Come, follow me and I will send you out to fish for people." Have you ever stopped to think what it means, what it really means, to follow Him? What does follow mean? Most of the time we think of the most common definition of follow, which means to come or go after; proceed behind. Follow also means, to accept as a guide or leader, to imitate or copy, to use as an example.
When I was younger, much younger, I remember playing a game called "Follow the Leader." Do any of you remember playing that game? Well, the whole point of the game was that one person was appointed to be the leader and the rest of the kids lined up behind the leader and followed him/her wherever they would go. Just as we would follow the leader wherever they would lead us, we are also called to follow Jesus, but in a much different way than in this child's game. When we follow Him, we are to be like Him, imitate Him, use Him as an example for our life and the decisions we make.
The disciples put aside their own lives and laid down what they were doing to follow Jesus. They devoted themselves to follow Him and learn from Him. To follow Him requires more than just lip service. It requires us to make a decision that no matter what we go through, we will follow Him by walking in His ways and living our lives for Him. Following Him will sometimes mean we go through painful, difficult things. It may mean that the path we walk gets rough and rocky. We may have to walk through the mud and mire. We may have to climb mountains and crawl along a darkened pathway to follow Him. Jesus paid the price for you to come to Him and become a believer, but the cost to follow Him and be His disciple is a cost that is paid by you.
What would it look like if we were to start living our lives as if Jesus were here living in our place? Would following Him take on a whole new meaning? Would the decisions we make about what we say and do be different? What about the things we spend our time doing? Would any of those things change if we started living our lives as if Jesus were walking in our shoes today? The real question comes when we ask ourselves if our lives are a reflection of our confession of faith in Jesus? Does my life look as if Jesus were walking in my shoes? Does it look like I am following Him?
Following Him means making the decision to imitate Him and live our life as an example of Christ. I hope my life is a reflection of Jesus living through me. That's my hearts desire anyway. I definitely have many moments where I fall short, but thankfully He's not done with me yet. I am more at peace knowing that the hard, painful things I've been going through are all part of the "following" process. Knowing that I am doing my best to follow Him and to walk in His ways, makes things a little easier to bear, because I know in the end, I will look more like Him.
That little game I used to play when I was much younger, yea, that doesn't even come close to what it really means to Follow The Leader.....Jesus.
Until next time my friends, be blessed!
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” ~Matthew 16:24 (KJV)
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” ~ Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)
“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” ~Luke 6:40 (ESV)
Here is a link to a great article about what it means to follow Jesus by author and Pastor, David Platt: