I shared how Jesus' words to Peter in John 21:21-22 cut to my heart and friend I pray they sink into yours as well. Listen to what He says, "What is that to you? You must follow me.” Friend, regardless of our circumstances we are commanded to follow Him.
And that idea leads me to something I've been thinking about for a few weeks...follow the leader. It's a game my kids don't often play, but it's something we daily do. We are to follow Christ, He is the ultimate leader, the perfect One we are to keep our eyes on, but if we're honest I think we can admit others influence us too.
I encourage you to take some time and think about the people you follow...because in this technological world we literally do "follow" people! Who influences you? Specifically think about those who are leading you spiritually...are they speaking Truth and teaching from God's Word? Are they sharing the comforting words we long to hear and the convicting ones we need to hear? Do they encourage you to follow Christ or are they creating a following for themselves? As you consider the leader's heart, allow God to examine yours...are you "following" this individual in attempt to grow in faith or simply because everyone is doing it? Friends, these questions don't always have easy answers, but lately I've been challenged to think about them and pray for discernment as I attempt to answer them.
As I've thought about this, I've pictured my kids playing the game and see how each one leads the one who follows in their steps. Friend, you may not consider yourself a "leader", but you are! Someone is watching you, learning from you and doing things you do...how are leading them? Are you pointing them to Christ? Are you walking in a manner worthy of the calling? Are you setting an example you want someone to follow?
Like Paul can you say, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." (1 Corinthians 11:1) or in the NLT, "And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ." Remember the one(s) you are following are also impacting the ones you lead. Friend, if you are doing what Jesus commands and following Him, you can be sure you are living out these words from Paul.
I'm so thankful for the Godly "leaders" in my life...the ones who admit their struggles, confess their sins, speak the Truth and point me to Christ. Their example equips me to be a leader too and also encourages me to live out the command Christ has given!
Four years ago when my second son was born, my oldest boy was 6 and for Christmas he wanted me to make him a gift. Since I don't sew, knit or do any other crafty thing I put together a picture for him. I had a picture of the two boys, tracings of their feet and a poem I've always held dear -
A careful man I want to be,
A little fellow follows me,
I dare not go astray
for fear he'll go the same wrong way!
I pray all my children will take these words to heart and influence others for Christ as they follow Him!! And may we do the same!!
Friend, I pray you will take some time to think about the ones you are following and the people you are leading...as you do this ask yourself, "Am I following Jesus?" If you're answer is yes, keep doing what you are doing and if it's not, pray about the changes you need to make!! Let us not forget one day we will be held accountable for our actions...including the decisions in who to follow and for the tracks we leave for others!
Thank you for joining me today...I'm off to play "Follow the Leader" with my kids and talk about how God wants us to do the same!! Blessings to you as you follow our Leader!!