Back in high school I had a friend who was quite a bit older than me. He was without a doubt one of the toughest guys in town. Strong as an ox, quick on his feet, and built for power. He had been in a few fights in his day, and they didn’t end well for the other party. As a young testosterone-filled teenager I found myself abnormally awe inspired by his stories of pulverizing bullies and eviscerating punks. The more stories that I heard, the more I thought to myself… man I am glad he is on my side. My playful mind would run through scenarios of him saving my butt if I ever found myself in a bind, and I came to the conclusion that I did not want to go into any dodgy situation without him right behind me. With him following me… whom should I fear?!
I feel that many of us have treated our relationship with God in a very similar way as I fancied my relationship with my friend. As if God is this cosmic bouncer that we invite to follow us into any situation and handle all of our problems. Now is God capable of all these things? Yes. But my question for you my friend is this… Who is following who?
In his book Not Safe, Mark Batterson shares insight from his own life and ministry:
“Most people in most churches think they are following Jesus, but I’m not so sure. The reality is this: they have invited Jesus to follow them. They call Him Savior, but they’ve never surrendered to Him as Lord. And I was one of them. Trust me, I didn’t want to go anywhere without Jesus right there behind me. But I wanted Jesus to follow me, to serve my purposes, to do my will.”
Is Jesus the Lord of your life, or are you trying to make yourself the lord of His? Are you delighting in His presence and allowing Him to conform the desires of your heart, or merely seeking His hand to grant you the desires of the world?
It seems that so many ‘followers of Christ’ spend the majority of their lives living out Proverbs 19:3:
People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord [NLT].
We call ourselves Christians, yet hold to no standard. Instead of reading, learning and following His path to life, we bring ruin our own way and let our heart rage at the Lord. We’ve called an eternal, all powerful, all knowing God into the role of sidekick and not headship.
This is not the way Christ designed it to be, but rather an enticing distraction of the enemy that will have us to believe we are living devoted to Christ, when the reality is we have been devoted to our own will and desires while wearing the badge of religion.
Friends, are we seeking and fighting for God’s will in our lives, or are we merely creating our own plans and asking God to bless them?
In Matthew 4 Jesus said “follow me” not “Go about your lives and I’ll follow you." He has called us to be on His hip, following His path, asking for the way and being a light to the world as we walk in His will. Is He a leader worth following? Absolutely. Here are a few reasons why:
- Creators determine purpose. In a day and age where we are all seeking purpose, it can only be found by following the Creator. It is possible to develop functionality outside of our purpose if we are not in tune with the one who designed us. Your iPhone can be a paper weight, a drink coaster, or a flashlight, but Steve Jobs told us it is worthy of so much more. You are worthy of so much more than your solo pursuit with a convenient sidekick, and following your Creator will lead deeper into that purpose.
- People follow vision. Proverbs 29:18 says that for lack of vision people perish. We all have a innate desire to be called to more and follow a leader that has a future focus we can champion. The scriptures are riddled with hopeful vision for our lives when we live in His way and heed his commands. Learn the vision, latch onto the vision, and pursue the life Jesus has called you into through pursuit of Him.
- He is not a liar. God makes many promises in the scriptures, and if we know one thing about God it is that He is not a liar. He keeps His promises… in fact He delights to fulfill the promises He declares. When we learn and know the promises He will undoubtedly keep, it increases our hope, gives us purpose and vision and allows us to live this life expectant of fulfilled promises from our leader.
God is a leader worth following. We must stop making God in the image of the incompetent leaders we have followed before in this life. He is the perfection of them all without any gaps in His character or lapses in His integrity. He has called us into more, but His command is… follow me. So I ask the question again… Who is following who?
Spend time this week asking God to take the lead in your life. Confess where you have been asking Him to follow you in pursuit of Earthly desires and ask Him to reorient you towards His will. His commands are made perfect on His path. His ways are higher than ours. Stop believing that full commitment to God means missing out on all that life has to offer. He designed you for this life with a purpose in mind. He gave you your gifts, why would he not desire to use them? Submit to Him and let Him cast the vision of that purpose over your life, your steps, and your path. He loves you and He cares for you. Follow Him… not the other way around.
Quinn Rivera // Humbled Daily Co-founder, doctor in training and aspiring professional lover of life.