Monday, March 27, 2023

To Follow

To Follow 
by David Brenneman 

To follow isn't to be in the lead. 
To obey is to not be the one in charge, calling the shots. 
To listen isn't for us to be speaking. 

We're to follow Jesus in obedience. 
We're to be doing:  Pointing people to Jesus.  Arranging the introduction.  Being who we were meant to be in Christ Jesus. 

Much of my life that I look back upon, at least to me, is wasted.  Quite probably in God's eyes was a necessity nonetheless to bring about what is going on in my life today.  

As the days go by I am less and less interested in the things of this world and am more and more interested in what God's wanting me to be interested in.

We aren't to be in the drivers seat. 
We aren't to be telling God what we want in life to make our world into what we deem is best.  That's not God's will. Not even close.  Giving us what we want when we want it does not grow us in Christ.

When you look at your life, your prayer life, what is it filled with?  Just thanking God for your food with the same exact words every time?  Is it you always repeating the same things without any emotion behind them?  Is there no feelings to your talk with Jesus?

Are you in a relationship with Jesus or do you in all reality look at Him as someone you hired?

The Great Commission was for all of us who have come to Christ for salvation.  

It's not about getting everything we want in life to be happy here.  It's not about coasting through life until we die or He returns.  

It's doing something fruitful with what He's given to us.  Look up the parable of the talents.  Those who did something with what they were entrusted were rewarded by the King. Those who didn't were condemned for their lack of obedience. 

Are you living for what makes you happy or are you living for what makes Jesus happy?  When what makes God happy makes us happy then we're getting it.

We're to be His workmanship. We are to becoming what He wants us to be in this life, not what we see ourselves as being. 
It's not to be us deciding to be this or be that. It's not us listening to the world on how we ought to pursue life. 

His workmanship means we are to become what He's envisioned us as being. We read elsewhere that He is the potter and we are the clay. We don't tell the potter what's acceptable or what the finished product will look like. 

We read in Romans 12 of living a transformed life. We read in Paul's writings of putting off the old self and its practices and putting on the new self in Christ Jesus. 

To follow in Jesus's name and indeed in Jesus's teaching, the Disciples had to constantly and consistently, say no to themselves.  They were being taught how to deny themselves to take up their own cross and to follow Jesus. 

In the tail end of the Great Commission we read Jesus commanded them to teach others ALL that He commanded them.

We who are in Christ are part of the body of Christ with a clear purpose in the body for specific things to be done by us through His power.  His will is our sanctification, our being made into the character of Christ. That's the objective of being His workmanship.  It's not for us to seek out cushy safe to us places to live out our days in a utopia of our creation. To spend more time with Jesus should be what excites us. 

To be who we were meant to be in Christ. 
Not who we necessarily see ourselves as being. 

I've given up on many dreams for my life. They were shown to me by God as just not fitting into His plans for me and for His overall plan for mankind.  His plans for me are going to have rough patches. Going to have hard times.  Going to have people being harshly critical of me. Going to be strained at times.  But in all of it I am to trust and obey. 

In all of it you are meant to trust and obey. 

We sin greatly when we are technically trying to command God to obey us.
We sin when we persist in living in ways that contradict the Bible. 
We sin when God's word isn't important to us. 
We sin when we insist on life being how we want it. 

This world is not our home. We're just passing through.  We don't go on vacations and get hotels rooms and then spend time at Home Depot, while we are there, doing a makeover of the room do we? 

We're given a great many things in life. Many are seen by us as blessings...but are they really?  Are we truly blessed when what we pursue or maybe are given and it causes us to be more separated from the will of God in us?  We're told that if something or someone causes us or someone else to stumble we are to avoid it. We're told by Jesus to cast such things away.  

If indeed you claim to be a follower of Christ Jesus are you following Him or your idea of who Jesus is?  My Dear Reader MANY will say they did a great many things in their lives for Jesus and they will be told to depart from Him for He never knew them.  We're told that many will hold to a form of godliness although they have denied its power.  Lives wasted because there wasn't a real relationship with Jesus Christ. They never were truly saved. 

Please don't let this be you!

Be sure of your salvation in Christ Jesus. 
Be sure that whatever is important to Jesus is important to you. 
Be sure that you are following and not trying to push Jesus out of the driver's seat. 

The Helper, as Jesus called Him, the Paraclete, means "another like Me of the same kind". The indwelling Holy Spirit is to have full authority in our lives to do with us, to us and for us as He sees fit.

There's to be no rooms in our hearts that He cannot clean out or renovate. 

Therefore if any man is in Christ He is a new creation, behold old things have passed away and new things have come. 

Is there evidence of this in your life?  If not, my Dear Reader, you now know what to do. 

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