Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Who's Following Who?

“I find, very often, that the God I’m looking for is the God who follows me…But I fear the God who becomes concretely personal in Jesus, who confronts me with a start command, barren of option: Follow Me.” Mark Buchanan Your God Is Too Safe.

Two young children play, one the lead and the other following. Maybe the oldest game known to man, with the exception of tag. It’s follow the leader. But both of them want to lead and neither wants to follow. Call them type A personality or Alpha kids. Call them whatever you want, but don’t say they are playing follow the leader.

Biblical Christianity is about following first. We follow the gospel call of our heavenly Father and we repent of our sins. We abandon our former ways and our worldly goals and follow His standard for living. We read and absorb the content of Scripture, seeking to grasp his design for our living. He leads, we follow.

But this goes against our natural tendencies. How many of our mothers said, “Follow the crowd”? How many of our fathers dreamed of us being a follower when we grew up? From a young age, we have been warned against the dangers of following peer pressure and the masses. We have been pushed to lead, prodded to step out and stand up for righteousness.

Christ beckoned the disciples to drop their nets and follow him, which they did immediately and with joy. They followed him for three key years of training and instructions. Then they became leaders of the early church, apostles of the Way.

Christ extends his arms to us. We are the ones standing at the shores of the Sea of Galilee holding the nets. We hold our toys, our goals, our possessions, our pride. And he urges us to throw them down and follow him.

How long with our three years of training be? We do not know, but as we follow him we will grow in our love for him and our convictions will strengthen. He will prepare us for the day we lead others.

Following Christ, never leading Christ. Preparing to lead and follow other believers.

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