Many claim to be Christians. It has become status quo and politically correct to answer “Christian” as your religious preference when prompted. Christian means “little Christ.”
What does it truly mean to follow Christ?
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. -Matthew 16:24
Discipline. Sacrifice. Obedience.
To submit to God in following his son, our Lord, Jesus…this means putting your own will under the will of God. God has a diving plan and purpose for each and every one of us. Just like Jeremiah, God knew you before you were formed in the womb and had a plan for you. God knows us in spirit before we are conceived and sees us as perfect and whole in heaven with him. We were created for God’s pleasure.
We all have our own personal struggles in this life. For me, it was addiction. I was a hopeless product of idolatry in the form of drugs, sex, and criminal rebellion for 16 years of my life. Christ set me free from a life bent on destruction.
When Jesus began his ministry, he invited his disciples by saying “Follow Me.” These men dropped everything they were doing, left everything they had and ever knew, and followed Jesus without asking a single question. Can you imagine the anointing the man must have carried? Although I never had Jesus walk by me and call me, I follow the son of God because he brought me out of utter hopelessness and saved me from self-destruction. How could I receive the gift of true freedom and eternal life in paradise with the maker of earth and then walk away back to do my own thing?
By a life of silent prayer, watchfulness, and devout obedience….I have discovered that God truly does work and think in ways much higher than ours. I have learned to trust God as he works miracles in my life and shines the light of the Holy Ghost through me like the illumination of a thousand stars.
God is a spirit. Before Jesus laid down his life for us, he promised that the Father would send the comforter–the Holy Ghost. Through the mysterious power of the Holy Ghost, which you can only receive through placing your faith in the finished work Jesus performed on Calvary’s cross, God gives you authority and the ability to do his will and works here on earth.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. -Acts 1:8
God can’t honor lip service nor does he respect religious phonies. Just look how much Yeshua rebuked the religious leaders of his day. The Pharisees were more concerned about the thoughts and respect of men than their standing with God. Today’s church is full of promises of God making you rich and being the magic genie here to grant our every desire.
God gave us his best over 2000 years ago. The creator doesn’t owe us anything.
He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. – I John 2:6
Jesus walked in love. He was the incarnation of pure love. Jesus walked in service. Jesus said that even the son did not come to serve, but to serve. Jesus walked in obedience. Not his will, but the will of the Father be done. Jesus was obedient to the point of a criminal’s death on a cross.
No person can claim to follow Christ and serve any other master. You will know a tree by the fruit it bears. The eye is the lamp of the body. What comes out of a person’s mouth makes them unclean. You cannot follow Christ and continue to live a life of sin.
Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. – I John 3:6