"FOLLOW ME" JESUS SAID
My parents took our family one summer on an adventure into the Bonnechere Caves in Egenville, Ontario. Prior to our entry into the caves, we were given very specific instructions by our guide. “The number one thing you must do is follow me. I have been in these caves many times and know them well. Just keep following me. Are we clear?” he asked. As a young boy I was so petrified of getting lost, to follow him was no problem.
Jesus is presented in scripture as the Good Shepherd and asks us, as his sheep, to follow him. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27) We cannot be a follower and still insist on having our own way. Followers follow! Many people think they are following Jesus when in reality, they have invited Jesus to follow them! Everything that Jesus asks of us requires that we follow Him. “Apart from me, you can do nothing,” Jesus taught us in the illustration of the vine and the branches. (John 15) Not one of us can love our enemies, be pure, be holy or be effective in ministry on our own. R.C. Sproul said, “We are spiritually impotent without the assistance of a merciful God.” Apart from Him, the Christian life is not just difficult - it is impossible!
Many Christians today find themselves in a spiritual wilderness because instead of following Jesus, they are following some creed, popular personality, or list of do’s and don’ts. Jesus is the one we are to follow and imitate and no one else. There is only one lodestar for the child of God – Jesus. (Acts 17:28)
Others absorb themselves in following Christian work. But even “Christian” work is not what Jesus said we were to follow. He said, “Follow ME and I will make you to become…” effective fishers of men – and every other thing you need to be. Jesus’ main driving concern when he came into the world to offer his life a sacrifice for sin was not to die on the cross but “to do the will of his Father.” (Matt. 26:39; John 6:38; 12:27-28) Our first order of business is to present ourselves as a living sacrifice to Him (Romans 12:1-2) and to follow HIM.
Oswald Chambers, famous Scottish preacher and source for the devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, wrote, “It took me a long while to realize that God has no respect for anything I bring to him. All he wants from me is (me) unconditional surrender.” Chambers died suddenly at the age of 43 after only 15 years in public ministry. But what a legacy he left!
When one truly follows Jesus, he is no longer overly concerned about position, function, accolades, recognition or even his own effectiveness (I Cor. 4:1-5). He leaves all that to his divine Guide. His job is to follow the Guide. Live in the moment. And trust himself daily into the hands of a loving Lord.