“PATTERN YOURSELVES after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah).”1
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”2
I’ve been meditating on this verse throughout the week and as I thought on it, I began to realize how confident a statement it was to proclaim the words, Follow me. I began 2010 with a sincere desire to re-dedicate my life to Christ after years of living only for myself. It was my hope that I could fit nicely into the muted background and quietly go about my life as if nothing had ever happened.
The words, My thoughts are not your thoughts, still echo in my mind.
God knows I don’t want attention. It’s funny when I think about it, but all my life that’s exactly what I’ve wanted. I pleaded with God, offering reasons why I wasn’t adequate to write about faith in Christ, but He ignored my every protest.
Did you ask Me to forgive you?
Did you say, “My life is in Your hands”
Yes Lord…but…I can’t do this
I’m ashamed of the life I’ve lived.
Do you believe in the covenant of Christ?
Do you believe in the forgiveness of your sins?
Do you appreciate the grace I’ve extended to you?
Will you obey me?
I want to both answer and remain silent. If I say, “Yes”, I commit myself to do what He says. If I say, “No”, then, why have I asked for His forgiveness? I cannot turn back, but I’m afraid to step forward.
He waits for my answer.
Yes Lord, I will obey You.
This is how I began My Thought-filled Journey a year ago. I hoped he wouldn’t require much, but He’s only asked for my obedience. Still, there are moments in each day when I find myself overwhelmed that He forgave me, that He loves me, and that He gives me grace; when it is so undeserved.
In the past year, when I read or hear what He has imparted to other believers in Christ, I tell myself that I’ve learned so little about the measure of His love, and forgiveness.
Of the little I have learned, I’ve come to understand that He commands me to love and forgive others. While the phrase "He commands me", sounds so oppressive to the natural mind, it is a joy to those who choose to obey God.
I find it difficult to think that I would ever have the courage to say, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Taking ownership of that kind of responsibility and saying to someone else, “Trust me, I know where I’m going.”
It’s easy to follow, it far more difficult to lead.
As a follower:
- I can always complain about the direction I’m headed in
- I can question whether the leader knows where he or she is going
- When things aren’t going the way I planned, I can always just quit
I’m learning that humility goes hand-in-hand with following Christ, taking instruction, and accepting correction. I may not feel confident in telling someone to, “Follow me”, but I realize that every moment of my life is a demonstration of my willingness to follow Christ; whether I say follow me with confidence or not, my life is speaking for me. Others will see whom I follow.
The scriptures say,
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”3
And yet, I know there were times, I wished He didn’t. The Lord weighs my motives against the depth of my words.
What does it take to say the words, Follow me?
It takes a heart that seeks to please Him with my life. It takes a mind that has learned the importance of running to Him, rather than running away. It takes a realization that in this life, I walk by faith rather than sight. It takes believing that The Lord, He is God. It takes appreciating that His grace really is sufficient for me, even when my mind says that I need something more tangible. It takes me knowing that although I cannot undo my history, Christ empowers me to change my today, which will help shape my tomorrow.
Whether I say follow me with confidence or not, my life reveals whom I follow.
To be called a follower of Christ, or a Christian means I’m demonstrating the love, forgiveness, compassion, humility, and obedience of Christ in every aspect of my life. I haven't reached the end of my journey, nor have I reached the apex of my spiritual ascent...but I press on to grab hold of He who has taken hold of me.
I praise You for Your goodness, mercy and grace. I cannot truly understand the depth of You love, but how I appreciate Your love for me! Who is like You? What is there to span the height, depth, length and breath of You? There is none like You Lord. You are teaching me to cast aside every weight and sin that brings me down to the depths of despair, replacing it with by focusing my eyes on Jesus Christ; the author of faith, even my faith. Order my steps Lord that I may come to know You better. Teach me the lessons of humility. I pray that I not forget Your deeds concerning my life. How You delivered me from sin and blessed me beyond measure. My life is revealed to You as an open book. I pray that my life help others discover You; that others learn of Your mercy, love and grace. When I fall Lord, and I will fall, not because I want to, but because I am weak, help me to stand up again and declare Your goodness.
Look on those seeking healing for their body, or the life of a loved one. Open the door of opportunity for that one who seeks employment. Touch the life of a child who needs love and encouragement. Pour out Your grace on that mother and father concerned about their child. You are The God of Possibility!. We know with You are things are possible, and we believe this. We trust You with our life. May You be please by the life we've chosen to live in honor of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Bless us today in Jesus name. Amen.
|Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte and Ginger).|
- The Ryrie Study Bible (New American Standard Version), Edited by Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 0-8024-8920-6
- The Amplified Bible, by The Lockman Foundation, Zondervan Bible Publishers, Grand Rapids, Michigan, ISBN-13: 978-0310951414
- King James Version, The Crusade Analytical Study Edition, Crusade Bible Publishers, Inc., PO Box 90011, Nashville, Tennessee 37209
- The Message Bible, by Eugene H. Peterson, NavPress Publishing Group, Colorado Springs, CO, ISBN-13: 978-1600060250
- The NIV Study Bible, Edited by Kenneth Barker, Donald Burdick, John Stek, Walter Wessel and Ronald Youngblood, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA
- The New Living Translation Bible, by Tyndale Charitable Trust, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois, ISBN-13: 978-0842384896