Following Jesus

All over the world everybody understands that to follow somebody means to do what they do and act as they act.  From fictional superheroes to football stars we understand that to follow somebody means that we emulate them.  Well after we've come to Christ, God the Father wants us to relate to God the Son in the same manner that God the Son relates to the Him.  God the Father wants us to emulate Jesus.  

All through the New Testament what we see of Christ tells us that He has two defining characteristics.  The first is that He is humble.  He doesn't want His own will done.  The second is that He is perfectly obedient.  He always does the will of the Father.  When facing the cross He told the Father, "Not My will but Yours be done."  In John 5:19 He said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner."  Again He says in John 6:38, "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me."

What this means for us is that as we strive to follow Jesus we are not so much striving to accomplish a list of things, as to reflect His heart.  We want to be perfectly humble and obedient to God the Son.  Many people come up with lists of what is wrong and what is right.  Do this.  Don't do that.  Our list only has one thing on it.  To humbly obey Christ is right.  To stubbornly demand your own way is wrong.  That's it.  It's that simple to faithfully follow Christ.  

Unfortunately God's word also tells us that our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.  If you pay attention to your thoughts you will begin to realize that you are very good at lying to yourself and making excuses to do what you want rather than being humble and obedient.  This is one of the reasons God gave us His word.  It is meant to pierce through the barriers our lying heart has erected.  It is meant to show us the true state of our heart.  So as you seek to follow Jesus, stay in His word.  Read it.  Meditate on it.  It will be the anchor keeping you abiding in Him.  But here too there is a danger.  You can read God's word and not have your heart open to Him.  People do it all the time.  The bottom line is always your relationship with Christ.  Are you staying humble and obedient?  Or do you read His word, call it good, and walk off to do your own thing?  Any time you notice your heart straying, tell Jesus about it.  He already knows.  But you need to admit it.  Ask His forgiveness and set your heart back on Him.  Keep your heart soft to the conviction of the Holy Spirit.  And Love your Lord and Savior, desiring to please, honor, and glorify Him.

We are looking forward to the Day He Returns.  We desire to have Him look at us, smile, and say, "Well done good and faithful servant."