Follow Me

“And [Jesus] said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19 ESV)

Follow.  As an American, I struggle with following. That independent streak in me yells “Don’t tell me what to do!”  In fact, I want my version of being a Christian to be the right one. You know, all the list of things that supposedly make me a “good Christian guy”; church attendance, Bible reading, small group, even mentoring. Wow! I must really be on top of my game if I’m doing all that!  Really?

Every time Jesus invited someone to follow him, it was to a complete change of thinking; a totally new way of living. It was to a relational way of living in God’s presence. 

Relational Dependency

Following Jesus involves 

  • Direction
  • Protection
  • Provision

“Jesus, I follow you because you have a far better direction for my life than I can figure out on my own.

Jesus, I follow you for protection against the spiritual attacks that want to destroy my life.

Jesus, I follow you for the provisions I need in this earthly life.”

Following Jesus Must Include Trust

Without trust, there is no following.  Recently, our 14-year-old neighbor boy went on a bike ride with me, outside our neighborhood. He had never biked more than 6-8 blocks from home.  I took him on a 7-mile bike ride through areas he had never been to before. Certain places to cross the streets, sidewalks to take, and a circular loop through a city park. When we returned to my driveway I asked if he could find his way on that route solo.  “I followed you the entire way. There are parts I don’t have clear in my head; so I would need to follow you again next time you bike.”

He trusted me and thus he followed me. Following Jesus means I trust him; even if I do not see where he is taking me. I know that his every lead is for my ultimate good. 

Trust is…

Turn away from the pressure of the clock. God’s timing is rarely ours. You may think something has to happen NOW when God has an entirely different timing and agenda that is far better than yours.

Remember his faithfulness and character.  God has shown Himself faithful to you in countless ways, big and small. His grace and his unfailing love for you will continue as you follow him. 

Understand your limits. You and I are not superhuman. We aren’t Marvel characters with ten lives and infinite strength. We are not in charge. Relational dependency means I rely on Jesus to lead even when I am at the end of me.

Seek him first above all else.  More than Google. More than science. More than the government. More than any human on the planet. More than our own wisdom. In any and all situations, seek Jesus first.

Take him at his Word.  Every word that comes from the mouth of Jesus is trustworthy. Your brain may be convinced otherwise, but what Jesus says is solid.  You may think to go in a certain direction, but Jesus says, turn here or there instead.  Take him at his Word.

Life is not about clarity

We all want clear-cut answers. A clear path. Jesus is less about clarity and all about trust.

If you want to follow Jesus, you have to trust him.

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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