Well, I made my first goal in this blogging game; fifty followers. Thank you to those of you who have decided to click that follow button. Fifty may not seem much for those who have been doing this for a while, but it is exciting for this beginner. With that excitement, I have decided to make my next goal of 100, and as I do, I am slapped in the face by a sense of fear.
I am being FOLLOWED by 50 people! My mind quickly goes to the childhood game of follow the leader or sometimes known a Simon Says. I loved playing that game as a follower but did not like being the one who was followed. Trying to decide what the others were going to do was always stressful for my “lacking in confidence” self. It was so much easier to do what others told me to do. I mean, I am a natural people pleaser.
Now I am in a much bigger game. I am in front of at least fifty people telling them what I think they should do. Though I have matured in confidence over the years, it is times like these that it wavers a bit. Can I be trusted? Does what I am saying matter? Who am I to be followed by anyone? The thoughts swirl in my “tends to overthink” brain until the Holy Spirit stops me in my tracks with one question. “Who are you following?
I quickly reply with the “right answer”. I follow Jesus. The next question soon follows. Who did Jesus follow? Wait, what? Jesus was a follower?
Yes, He was. Jesus followed His Father; God the Father, who is the only one who follows no one. I read in John 15:1, where Jesus says that He is the grapevine, but His Father is the gardener. You see, God was in charge. Again, even more clearly, Jesus shows that He was a follower of His Father in John 5:19
So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.John 5:19
I hope you see it as clearly as I do. If you follow someone, who they follow matters. Even more critical is the need to have this chain of followers be linked to Jesus, who was linked to God, the Father. If you follow me, it is vital that I follow Jesus. The Jesus I follow must be the one that followed God, His Father.
How do we know? I think there are at least three important steps to take before deciding to follow anyone. Steps that will help you decide if they are taking you to the right destination; the truth.
- Read the Word of God for yourself. Never wholly depend on someone else’s interpretation of it. I know some parts of the Bible seem confusing and you want help. But many have pulled passages out of context to satisfy their own desires. Be cautious of anyone who appears to be doing this. Reading it yourself will help.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to give you the discernment you need as you read. The Holy Spirit’s job is to lead us to the truth. (John 15:26). If what someone is saying is making you uncomfortable ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth. What they are saying might be wrong or what you have believed may be wrong. Let the Holy Spirit lead you.
- Read more of the Word of God. The Bible is not meant to be taken piece by piece. What is said in one place will be confirmed in other places. If it is not, look at the context. God will not contradict Himself. It is not in His nature to do so. It is worth the effort to seek because God will help you find the truth. (Matthew 7:7)
Who I follow should matter to you. Make sure I continue to follow Jesus. Jesus who followed God the Father. If it appears I am not, please let me know. If I don’t listen, please unfollow me. If you are being followed, and I believe we all are to some degree, make sure you are following Jesus. Jesus who followed God the Father. Those behind you need to make the right moves, need to get to the right destination.
What “Simon says” will not matter if Simon is not following Jesus.
Remember that Jesus says “Follow Me.”