- Posted By: Devoted
- Comments: 0
by Johan Terblanche
Jesus told a certain man, “Follow me”. But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Let the dead bury their own dead. But you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another man said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say goodbye to those at home.” Jesus told him, “No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:59 – 62)
What is holding us back? What is it that causes us not to follow Jesus Christ? What corpse is preventing us from living a sin-defeating, God-glorifying, Jesus-proclaiming, soul-reaching, neighbour-loving life? What rotten, stinking flesh is causing us to decline God’s call to follow Him? Is it selfishness or ambition or any other fleshly desire?
Who is holding us back? Who is it that we need to say goodbye to? Who is it that is preventing us from following God, preventing us from obeying God’s call, preventing us from acting in obedience to God’s Word? Often we think that God placed us amongst certain people in order for us to reach them, but there are some that will hold you back, will tie you down and will prevent you from following Jesus Christ. It is these people we need to stay clear of, we need to avoid them except when God works in us to reach them, except when God places a burden on us to share the Gospel with them.
Now, let me be blunt. Anything that prevents us to follow Christ, that prevents us from living a holy and dedicated life to Christ, is nothing but an idol, nothing but an object of worship. It is of these things God said: “I am the LORD your God who brought you out of Egypt, where you were slaves. Worship no god but me. Do not make for yourselves images of anything in heaven or on earth or in the water under the earth. Do not bow down to any idol or worship it, because I am the LORD your God and I tolerate no rivals. I bring punishment on those who hate me and on their descendants down to the third and fourth generation.” (Exodus 20:2-5)
In John 12:25 we read that those who love their own life will lose it; those who hate their own life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Jesus continues: “Whoever wants to serve me must follow me, so that my servant will be with me where I am. And my Father will honour anyone who serves me.” (John 12:26)
Now, there are times life throws things at us, when things happen that may cause us to take our eyes of the Lord, which causes us to lose focus or causes us to take our eyes off the mark. But, it is not the things that come our way that determines our destiny. It is the way we react when things happen that plays a vital role, which shows whether or not we are prepared to place God first, that shows whether or not we are determined to follow God.
Today, God is calling, God is saying through Christ: “Follow me!!” And we are left with a choice; to follow or not follow. We may hold on to the things of the past. We can hold on to old habits, old traditions, old friends or even to our families or we may say: “I will follow”.
When we choose to follow, we need to count the cost. We need to know that we will have to lay down many things, things that might be dear to us, things we have treasured for many years. However, each time we choose to lay something down, each time we choose to leave something behind, God gives us power to overcome and blesses us with something new, something marvellous, something much bigger than anything we could have had.
Joshua said: “Honour the LORD and serve him sincerely and faithfully. Get rid of the gods which your ancestors used to worship in Mesopotamia and in Egypt, and serve only the LORD. If you are not willing to serve him, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your ancestors worshiped in Mesopotamia or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are now living. As for my family and me, we will serve the LORD.”
Decide today whom you will serve. Then trust God to help you overcome the things of the past, to conquer the things that are holding you back. I do not know what it is that is preventing each and every reader to live a life fully dedicated to God, but God does know and He will help you to overcome those things, He will help you conquer those things when you say: “I will follow you.”
Johan Terblanche is from Christ alone ministries.