But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
Relate: Following is easy these days. I’ve got about 350 followers and follow about 250 people myself. That’s only because I cut off over 500 of the people I was following on twitter about a week back. If someone follows me, I follow back. I’ve got about 900 friends on facebook. Most of them I knew at some point in my past. About 20 or so I actually “follow” meaning their statuses show up in my notifications so I can ignore them there as well as on my home page like everybody else. There’s about 2,400 of you following my blog. Thank you all very much for that, I am honored that you would consider my ramblings worth your time. It is a humbling responsibility I feel every time I sit down to write. I pray for you (as a group) that you would be blessed and changed to be more like Him as you read.
Following Jesus is, however, a bit more involved than following someone on twitter, facebook, or wordpress. Three men have the opportunity to follow Jesus. He warns the first, “I’m homeless, if you follow me, you will be too.” The second wanted to put family obligations first. Jesus told him, “Let the dead bury the dead. You have a higher duty.” The third said, “I’ll follow, let me just say my goodbyes.” Jesus told that one, “If you follow me, there’s no looking back.” To each in their own way, Jesus warns His potential followers how serious a commitment He is calling them to.
React: Following Jesus is serious business. He spits out the lukewarm. It takes more than a click of a button or the occasional read to be His follower. Going to church once a week and singing a few songs, standing and sitting at the right times, just won’t cut it. Reading some spiritual stuff every now and then, even reading your Bible faithfully isn’t going to cut it. There are plenty of people who have read and studied the Bible a lot who will still end up in hell. When Jesus calls someone to follow Him, he calls them to come and die. He calls for complete surrender. He calls them to pick up a cross and start following. Jesus isn’t interested in fans. He wants imitators.
I just wish dying was easier. I pick up that cross, but somewhere along the way I keep dropping it. I leave all my junk there at the altar, but all too often I start picking it back up. I want to be on fire but the entropy of daily life keeps cooling me off. That’s why I’m so glad that He calls me to pick up my cross daily. Yesterday, about halfway through the day I dropped it off somewhere. But today I can pick it back up and start again. Dying is a daily process. Following is something I do one step at a time… and He is patient.
God, I surrender all to You again. I keep wanting to follow You but I get off track. Don’t let me get lukewarm. Reignite my flame over and over again for as long as it takes until I start to get this thing right. Help me to die daily to my own pride, dreams, and ambitions. Help me to want what You want and live as You lived. help me to follow You.