FOLLOW THE LEADER
Kids can come up with all sorts of random games to keep themselves occupied and the imagination of a child is a wonderful thing. When I was in elementary school, there was a game called “Follow the Leader.” There was no particular goal other than that one person would lead a line of followers and that whatever the leader did the people had to mimic to the tee. If the leader jumped at a particular spot while moving forward then the followers would have to jump at that same exact spot when they got there and in the same fashion that the leader did. We followed the leader in all that they did as we tried our best to look like them in their actions and behavior.
When it comes to Christianity I wonder at times even for myself whether it is Jesus that is following us or are we following him? Who really is the leader because we all can claim it to be Him but when He starts moving are we even following with our actions? Some of us may be going in the right direction and look like we are following the leader but refuse to “jump” when He jumps and so we have to ask ourselves if we are truly following the leader or look like we are following him?
Jeremiah has indeed followed the leader and it cost him dearly. We can follow the leader when things are going well but can we follow the leader when things are not going so well with us? Jeremiah is in that place of complaint again. Doing the LORD’s work has only brought pain and misery for him. They say that the true people that are loyal are the ones that stick it through when times are tough. Whether it be to a person, organization, or a cause, there will be moments when it will get tough to follow and doubt will start to creep in but glory will be the reward for those who endure.
When you live fully for the LORD, there will most definitely be times like this! What was Jeremiah’s complaint this time?
“For whenever I speak, I cry out, I shout, “Violence and destruction!” For the word of the LORD has become for me a reproach and derision all day long (v.8)” He has been proclaiming faithfully the message of judgment and destruction and instead of repentance, the people respond with hate. Jeremiah being faithful to God has only ruined his reputation amongst people but I have also come to the realization that it is better to have a ruined reputation amongst men than God.
Jeremiah was tempted to give up and stay silent but His response in verse nine is a reflection of someone who has definitely tasted and seen the greatest thing that life has to offer, which is God Himself.
“If I say, ‘I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,’ there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.”
A person who is truly on fire for the LORD will be tempted to conform or be silent but the presence of God cannot be contained! When you have seen the glory of God how can you contain it to yourself? You cannot! There is something in your spirit that realizes that nothing else will ever measure up and be as glorious as Him and I have seen many people walk away from the presence of God to only be shell of their former selves. As simple as a statement this is but you can only be your fullest and greatest expression of yourself when you are with God. Every pursuit, every desire, every dream will only be a faint shimmer of what it can be when it is separated from the presence of God! A fire that is from the LORD cannot be contained and must spread because the alternative to that is to put a lid on the fire which will eventually snuff it out. The warmth of the fire that was once so comforting will be lost to conformity and the coldness of silence to the masses. Are you silent for Jesus or bold for Jesus? Does your schedule revolve around Jesus or does Jesus revolve around your schedule? These are questions we have to deal with if we truly say we follow the LORD.
Every generation is broken and need of healing. To speak to a broken generation is no easy task but as Jesus spoke to a particular generation while on earth, so He asks of His followers in every generation. When we settle for a domesticated and safe Christianity we in fact are not actually being Christians because there is something so exciting and wild in following Christ as Jesus didn’t play it safe but always walked in wisdom. As Jesus suffered we too must suffer with Him. As He endured we too must endure. As He has been glorified we too will be glorified.
When I was growing up, there use to be a magazine that that told us the tips and tricks to beating games. Well for our devotionals, here are some tips and tricks in response to today’s devotional.
TIPS & TRICKS
A follower of Christ will multiply for Christ
Is your faith contagious? Are you actively seeking to bless others to grow to be more like Christ? When was the last time you simply asked a non-believing friend to come out to church? These are helpful things to consider when following Christ because sometimes we follow our insecurities to silence than follow in obedience to God
Jesus is the center of your schedule not at the end
This will take time to develop but slowly but surely set out portions of time in the day to stop what you are doing to either read His word, pray, or talk to God. A simple starting point, and I emphasize starting, is to portion fifteen minutes each in the morning, afternoon, and evening to connect with God. This will eventually grow to longer periods of time but start small and pepper your day with God.
Popularity is an expendable asset
This means that popularity is not a bad thing but is always on the table to give up when the popularity comes against your loyalty to Christ. Sometimes we are too loyalty to things that do not deserve our loyalty.
Today let us follow the leader through action. Talk is cheap if not backed with action.