What Does it Mean to Follow Jesus?
In Matthew 4:18-25, Jesus selects His first disciples. Fishermen. And, wow…I read these few verses there and realize that these fellows dropped everything and simply followed Him – literally! I start thinking, right – a handful of commercial fishermen. Life was easier for them than me. I mean, Jesus started walking, they just dropped in line behind Him. And while He was teaching, well, they heard His voice – I mean, really heard it in their ears. They watched His interaction with people and learned first hand from His example. How could it be any easier?
And since Jesus has left the planet, how am I to follow Him? I can’t touch, see, or hear Him the way they could.
When Jesus was about to leave the earth, He promised those disciples that He would send them a Helper who would actually live with them. Crazier than that, He said the helper would actually live within them (John 14:16-17). Today I follow Jesus by hearing and just following His Holy Spirit that lives inside of me. If that’s creeping you out, it’s a total spiritual thing and I don’t expect you to understand it until you become a follower of Jesus and have a spiritual relationship with Him. But, come on – I have it MUCH better than the disciples because the Spirit lives inside me!! That’s such an advantage – it’s the most up close and personal guidance I could ever imagine!
The Spirit does for me all the things that Jesus did for His disciples. He guides me each step in life if I ask Him, and teaches me the truths of God. But you know, His work actually goes beyond just that. The Holy Spirit transforms me from the inside out and makes it possible for me to serve and obey the Lord. Man, I can use the help – believe me! The Spirit also helps me figure out God’s way for my life and then gives me the desire and strength to go down that path that God has planned just for me. And all I gotta do is…follow.
Listen – it isn’t as easy as saying it. I figured something out – a big secret – well, talks about it in the Bible, but man, this is SO true: for me to really follow Jesus I MUST be super sensitive to hearing the Holy Spirit’s voice. Okay – not getting weird here, seriously. He speaks to me through the Bible and well, just prayerfully listening. And…cool bonus…the more open I am to His guidance, the more attune (better) my “spiritual hearing” becomes! (personal experience)
And hearing Him is the only way to make progress in my Christian walk.
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