I've been thinking about what it means to be a follower lately.
Pinterest is my favorite social media platform. I have 12,000 followers there. On Twitter and Facebook my followers and fans are in the upper 3000's.
Social media gives us a different perspective on what it means to be a follower.
We're now able to get little impersonal snippets of people's lives, and believe we're connected without know much if anything real about them.
I love connecting faith and life...
So, the question that keeps running through my mind...
Is it possible we sometimes treat following Jesus the same way we follow people on social media?
A few years ago, our Bible Study Class watched a message by Pastor Andy Stanley I will never forget. He made the point that being a follower of Jesus means living each day in surrendered to becoming more and more like Him.
A follower doesn't just know about, a follower knows and follows!
Jesus showed us what following looks like. Doing what His Father told Him to do.
Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. John 5:19 (NIV)
Saying what the Father told Him to say.
For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.” John 12:49-50 (NIV)
Doing the Father's will even when it's hard.
For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. John 6:38–39 (NIV)
Wow, Jesus' way of following is very different from ours, isn't it?
Social media following includes jumping in here and there, accepting and rejecting bits and pieces of information as we choose, and following like Jesus is an all in proposition. It's surrendering every area of our lives . . . picking up our cross and following wherever God leads.
Then Jesus said to His followers, “If any of you want to be my follower, you must stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you for following me. Matthew 16:24 (ERV)
I spent too much of my life afraid of cross-carrying. I wanted to follow but I was afraid I might be asked to surrender something too hard to give. So, I held back just a little.
But holding back didn't prevent "pain" it just kept me from enjoying God's peace, joy, courage, and strength.
So, now my prayer is that God will simply give me all I need to follow Jesus. Not a here and there follower when it's easy but a cross-carrying follower who trusts God will meet my every need and make it possible for me to face life one moment at a time thankful for His forgiveness, peace, joy, hope, courage, strength, and unfailing love.
Those blessings make all-in following the very best of all!
Deb is a passionate blessing counter who loves to study the ways faith and life intersect. This year at Counting My Blessings, she's sharing The Relationship Project - How One Relationship Affects All Others. Deb lives in Missouri with her husband and furry child, Sadie now that all of their human children are grown and have little ones of their own. And yes, being a grandparent is the best She's hoping you will join her on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.