Follower or Believer?
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...
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…
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?”
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?