Follower or Believer?

John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

Following

Since joining the hubs I have been giving a lot more thought to what "Follower" means. Not just in the form of being a "follower" of another's writings on these HubPages, but in the very real responsibility of being a faithful follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone can be a believer...and not follow....BUT a person cannot be a follower and NOT a committed believer...for I have to believe to have the love, courage and strength to follow. Following brings with it obedience...instant, trusting, faithful obedience.

I would like to share my musings from a morning not to long ago as the Holy Spirit prompted my thoughts and heart in a certain direction. It was uncomfortable to say the least, but not to have followed the thread of thought and string of questions would have again put me in a deliberate position of stubborn willfulness. Have grace as you read...but my prayer is that you may be blessed...

Questions...Questions...Questions...
Questions...Questions...Questions...
Thanks to ericneilsenphotography.com/.../index.html  Divergent Paths
Thanks to ericneilsenphotography.com/.../index.html Divergent Paths
or Faithful Follower?
or Faithful Follower?
To be stubbornly pulled along
To be stubbornly pulled along
or willingly making His path my path?
or willingly making His path my path?
Closing my hears to the still, soft voice of the Holy Spirit
Closing my hears to the still, soft voice of the Holy Spirit
or eager, willing listening?
or eager, willing listening?
Following the crowd...
Following the crowd...
or seeking the path God has for me?
or seeking the path God has for me?
Cheesecake or Obedience?
Cheesecake or Obedience?

I awoke with the normal early morning rambling of my thoughts. And then quite suddenly questions invaded my serenity and caught my attention. Listen to them if you would please.

Are you a believer of Jesus, or are you a follower of Jesus? (I answered, a follower) ... the reply to my answer was…

Really?....

If Jesus was to literally walk through the whole of your day with you…from the first of the morning till the time you went to bed…how often would you be on a divergent path?

How often would Jesus be left standing alone as you went your way?

Now, think about this.

My first reaction was,

“I would never leave Jesus alone. I would never deliberately walk away from Him.”

But…would I not? I had to admit, to myself at least as well as to the Holy Spirit, that all together too often I do this very thing! Without even thinking…

Now, is this because I can’t physically see Him? He really does walk with me through my day? But…then…what does this excuse say about me?

Jesus, faithfully is with me, all the time…He promised that He would never leave me nor forsake me…and Jesus cannot lie…He is God.

Okay, so that established, lets go on…

How often do I go about my activity because it is what I want to do? Jesus would want to go one way and I, sadly go another. I am either... one, not paying attention to what He wants, or two, just don’t want to do what He wants. Either one is a sad commentary on my character, my love for Him, my commitment to Him. It says a lot about what I think of Jesus and His ways.

I say I am committed but am I?

Okay...I hear people saying, (or even my own soul saying), “Quit be so hard on yourself, nobody expects this from you…

…I should rephrase this …most people don’t expect this from me…not even within the Church, the Body of Christ……but what about God?…is this what God expects?…what Jesus expects?

...to be fully aware of what Jesus wants.... 100% of the day.... some people would be incredulous at the thought. Some would honestly think this an impossible task…to be 100% aware of what Jesus wants from us 100% of the time. Some say impossible!

But is it? This may be exactly what Jesus wants and desires! What God wants and desires…all I have to do is look into the Old Testament accounts and see what He expected from His people there. And, to top it all off, they were on their own!… They did not have the enabling help of the Holy Spirit that we, the Body of Christ, do today. Although the OT believers did have the cleansing help of the sacrificial system (which had to be taken care of carefully and oh so often), they were no different in their humanity than I am today. People sin!

There is more acceptance to deeper sin today! Activity and acceptance of sin, that years ago were not even given thought to. Yet, today are not even given a passing thought as wrong anymore…never mind thought of as “sinful.”

I am not even talking about the obvious things, like drug abuse or sexual promiscuity or murder but… attitudes and respect.

Our moral standards are so low off the charts that it really has returned to the times of the Israelite tribes before they had a “king.” Everyone did what they thought was right in their own eyes. (Check out the last chapter of the book of Judges…)

The Holy Spirit knows the mind of Christ….and….He knows my thoughts and the intentions of my heart better than I do myself! He knows when I am deliberately making a “choice” opposite of what I “know” Jesus wants. Jesus is standing indicating to go in one direction and I am already walking in another.

Do I murder…no; But… have I ever put a hole in someone’s dream with unbelief…have I attempted murder on a dream, desire or hope?

Do I steal…no; But… have I stolen someone’s joy or hope, or repentant sorrow just because I was either jealous or spiteful?

Do I lie…no; But…have I embellished a story so I looked better, or left out some painful details so I wouldn’t look so bad to another?

What if I want that last piece of cheesecake…just because I want it (identified as lust, selfishness, greed), not because I am hungry…and I “know” I should leave it alone…Jesus/ the Holy Spirit is saying, “Come away from there, walk with me over here, leave that piece for someone else” and I “know” that is what He is saying….BUT…I know He won’t leave me or forsake me…and....I convince myself that He won’t leave me over such a small thing as a piece of cheesecake…so….I ignore the small, soft, loving voice in my ear…and I walk away, no longer following Jesus, but actually causing Him to follow me in sadness, as He is faithful…and won’t leave me…and I eat the cake…steeling myself against the voice directing me elsewhere…

Farfetched? I don’t think so…if I will for even one second leave Jesus for something so inconsequential as a piece of cheesecake…or a “silly” sit-com, or joke, or…whatever else is not glorifying to God…what else will I leave Him for?

What if I want to go the gulf islands to “serve” Jesus, and He wants me to go to China to “serve” Him?

How do I have the strength to deny myself and do what He wants in the Big things if I cannot follow Him in the supposedly little every day things?

These musing for me are not funny... they are not “off the wall,” I don’t believe that I need to lighten up. Again my sinful heart tries to lighten it by saying no “person” expects this of me. BUT…

Am following a “person” or Jesus?

Am I trying to please a “person” (be it myself or someone else)… or …Jesus?

More and more in the Body of Christ sinful indecision is creating gray areas where there ought not be gray areas.

I want there to be a grey area….so I can choose my own way instead of God’s way. I want to there to be grayness, shadows and fuzzy lines. It gives me a good excuse then. But is it?

Jesus did say in John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Jesus sheep not only hear His voice, the listen to His voice…

listening speaks of obedience. I always knew when my kids heard me but failed to listen…

So now, as one of my favorite professors use to ask, “So what?”

Yes…So what?

Response needs to be in everyday, every little thing…walking and obeying Jesus ALL the time. Not just when it is convenient for me, or comfortable for me… but all the time.

Am I follower of Jesus or JUST a believer? Anyone can believe in Him, even the demons do, He is real afterall…BUT will I follow Him as a faithful follower? That is the real question.

What do you think?

Faithful Servant or Independent Lost Soul?

Your Choice
Your Choice

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Comments 22 comments

"Quill" 6 years ago

Heartfelt hub and one which reaches deep in my question bank and I need to ask myself the same questions.

Just how committed are we willing to be to be called a true follower of Christ, committed enough to welcome death for Hod names sake. Do we trust in Him enough to stand in ready of being killed for our faith.

Searching questions and a hub well worth a bookmark Sister.

Blessings and hugs


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 6 years ago from Canada Author

Quill...I have been struggling with these questions for a number of days, even weeks now...and the disasters of the last week have just increased the urgency to settle this.

Not sure what publishing this accomplished but I do know that I couldn't NOT publish this.

thanks for reading and having patience with me. I haven't disappeared, just haven't been able to read much...or comment...

grace and love brother


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 6 years ago from hub

Can't see so well in the gray shadows of life:( I do believe it is best to follow the path of Jesus, He knows the way:) Challenging Hub!


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 6 years ago from Canada Author

Yes, I do agree...it is best to follow the path of Jesus...but even as adults do we always do what is best? Or do we do what we want? This culture is not an excuse but it sure doesn't help when it comes to really knowing what is best because we are so inundated with what we deserve...or getting the break...

Anyway...it is a challenging hub...and I appreciate you dropping in and having a read...and commenting...

Blessings to you heart


davidisaiah profile image

davidisaiah 6 years ago from Klamath Falls, Oregon

What food for thought. What an opportunity to consider if each step we take during the day will benefit the Gospel. Gandhi once asked us to consider how each thing we do will impact the poorest of the poor amongst us. Jesus reminds us that whatsoever we do to the least of these we do unto him.

Do I fully live out the Gospel? To claim so is arrogant and untrue.

Thank you for this teaching.


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 6 years ago from Canada Author

davidisaiah; Thank you for dropping in and having a read, but more than that, thank you for letting these words create in you a deeper desire to serve Jesus. If what I share here does that, then I am content.

Blessings to you sir


rls4immanuel 6 years ago

This is a very good message Ulrike Grace. I think that it speaks directly to the "wishy washy" nature of our culture. We have been taught to do what ever we need to that we can be accepted by other people. If we do this to the exclusion of God, then other people become idolatry. We must always remember that God's standard for morality and purity is perfection not something we justify in the "gray areas." This is a good challenge Ulrike Grace as it points us more toward our God and Savior who is the only one who can give us the motivation and strength to "be holy for He is holy." Sin is sin before God and if we choose to walk in sin, no matter how small that sin my seem to us in our eyes, we are choosing to separate from God, a choice that will never prove to be wise or fruitful.

Blessings to you as you continue to seek God's face.


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 6 years ago from Canada Author

Wow...thank you for your insightful and direct comments. I appreciate the way you think about what you have read...it helps me to see in a more clear way even what I have written.

Blessings to you


coffeesnob 6 years ago

UlrikeGracde

this took me to James 1:22-25

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does."

The minute I decide to NOT do what is in the word of God I have turned to follow another. Can this be accomplished to always choose to follow -every minute of the day? I would say yes. Do I do this every minute of the day? I would have to say no - and even further that I struggle to live by the cross, in the moment with Christ every day. OH there are days that I am able to do this, but I have more times that at the end of the day I pray, LORD forgive me my trespasses...Your hub is good and on point and gives solid direction to that which we must press on to become.

Blessings to you,

CS


Saintatlarge profile image

Saintatlarge 6 years ago from Canada

UG, the very fact that you raise questions within yourself shows forth your heart's desire, and God gives the desires of our heart as they line up with his will. David being the one whom God himself says "a man after my heart", was as real as you can get. He has nothing hidden from his life and an example to us through the Psalms we so dearly cherish. Such as the 23rd Psalm we all know so well. He is leading and directing, be encouraged, be blessed and continue allowing us into your heart. You are precious. St.L.


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 6 years ago from Canada Author

coffeesnob...thank you for your comments...we (hubby & I)have been trying to read everyday...Ps 119...and what a blessing that has been. It's amazing how after the first number of times when we are just now starting to get past all the "normal" stuff one sees...how much treasure there is in this amazing Psalm. I forget sometimes that the "perfect law" is the Word, the Living Word...and Jesus is working for us and not against us...what a relief that is to my heart...

Thanks for the solidarity friend, I do so appreciate you

love and grace sister


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 6 years ago from Canada Author

Saintatlarge; what a wonderful part of the body this hub pages is...I get sustenance and encouragement and love here...God has and is gracious. Thank you for the reminder of David...God is looking for real...isn't He, not perfect although He is working at making us perfect. Your spirit-led encouragement is a balm to my soul...my heart...it has been a difficult few weeks...but I am seeing the wisdom of the Lord in it all...

Blessings to you and yours and I hope the presence of the Lord will increase even as your love for Him increases.

Thank-you


Cedar Cove Farm profile image

Cedar Cove Farm 6 years ago from Southern Missouri

OK, now I feel small. A good introspective glance at most of us. Thank you, the Lord has used oyu to turn on the lights.


Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 6 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

Thanks for writing. Many believers do not follow, there lives reflect nothing of their supposed beliefs. I choose each day to trust and obey.

Namaste.


Kristeen profile image

Kristeen 6 years ago from Michigan

UlrikeGrace,

We all fail in following Jesus at times because we are imperfect and sinners. The thing to ask yourself is Do I just believe that Jesus exists, or do I believe in Him? Do I have faith? "Faith" is the key. Staying in the word is what helps me.

The articles I write on hubpages help me because I have to search the scriptures when I write and "faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of Christ". This also helps me honor God on my daily walk.I still fail miserabley at times though. We all do.

God expects us to be perfect, and we are through Jesus. Jesus washed us with His blood and we are white as snow. We are truly blessed!

This is a great hub and it makes all of us stop and think.

God Bless!

Kristeen


calico Stark profile image

calico Stark 4 years ago from Earth for the time being

Vote way up! Could my thumbs stretch any higher! Wow! Great hub! I love this part, "but not to have followed the thread of thought and string of questions would have again put me in a deliberate position of stubborn willfulness". This was an awesome hub! It delivered a strong dose of medicine to a very sick body. We, the body of Christ really need to hear this right now. I pray you continue to write what is on the Father's heart for you clearly, "Get it!" And the pictures were excellent with the article! Way to go!


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 4 years ago from Canada Author

What a way to start a new year! Thank you calico for your kind and gracious words. may you be blessed deeply by and in the presence of our dear Lord, may Father's presence with you content you and rest you. a sister in Christ Ulrike Grace


parrster profile image

parrster 4 years ago from Oz

Beautifully put UlrikeGrace. To surrender at the beginning of everyday and say, 'not my will but thine', is so much easier said than done. But that's where it starts, the mind, and that's where it's won or lost. To allow every thought to be taken captive for Christ, it is the war we fight.


shannon nadine barreau 4 years ago

Thank you for this reminder. And for your words.

I want my 'New Year' to be one where I follow my Jesus more and more!

I am one of those who tend to, more often than not.....do my own thing.

Leaving Him behind.

He has blessings for us, on our daily walks with Him.

His perspective.

And, I miss it.

As I toodle off here and there.

I desire to change this.

I long to see His perspective.

More and more!

So thankful for our Savior. Our Jesus.

I would be toast without Him.

Thanx again dear Ulrike.

I miss you.

xox


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 4 years ago from Canada Author

Parrster...it IS a war we fight and oh how the enemy fights...and only the Spirit of the Lord is the sheild that is strong enough about us to give us peace and a place of rest and security. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts...Blessings to you and your family my dear brother...Ulrike Grace


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 4 years ago from Canada Author

Oh my dear Shannon...Aren't you glad that in all our stumblings and running off, whether in enthusiasim or rebellion...Jesus sticks closer than a brother...He is the burr that I AM thankful for! Thanks dear one for reading and sharing your comment...it is encouraging when I get a notification that someone has read and taken the time to comment...blessings to you...love Ulrike Grace ((hugs and kisses XX back at you ))


teacherjoe52 profile image

teacherjoe52 4 years ago

Hi Grace

I couldn't agee more.

We need to srat focused on listening and obeying Christ all day, every day

God bless you.

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