What does it mean to truly decide to follow Jesus?
In listening to this song written by United, I find myself reflecting on what it means to truly follow Jesus, deciding to follow Him.
Often, we go through life relying on God but fail to truly decide to follow Jesus.
To follow Jesus, we need to understand what a Jesus follower is:
dis·ci·ple: One who embraces and assists in spreading the teachings of another (thefreedictionary.com)
I love the way the definition breaks apart a disciple as someone who “embraces” and “assists” teachings. Embracing the teachings of Christ is different than simply reading them.
Recently, God has been speaking to me regarding what writings I embrace as truth. When I say writings, I am talking about books displaying an author’s depiction of the Gospel.
Now I’m not saying that reading spiritually based books is bad because I am the first one to say that I LOVE reading Christian authors. I have many books sitting on my nightstand that I am “in the process” of reading. However, there is a difference between reading books about God and reading God’s Word.
This is the key message that God has been whispering to my heart for the past few days. As a growing Christian and disciple of Jesus Christ, my job is to not only read about God but embrace His teachings and assist Him in the mission of growing The Church. If I simply read another growing Christian’s perspective of their faith walk but fail to study and apply the teachings of Christ into my own life, how can I truly call myself a disciple?
I tend to see a book in a bookstore, read the back and buy it; not thinking about all the other books I have partially read but not finished at home. It’s what they call an “impulse buy”. The last few days I have realized how many impulse buys I have when it comes to faith-based books.
This is where God spoke to my heart. How often do I simply pick up the Word of God and study it without picking up a faith-based book without studying what God says about His truths?
So after realizing my own wrong, I decided that this new year I am going to focus on reading and studying God’s Word; His mighty, life-changing, and alive Truth. I am going to lay down the thoughts of others and pick up the Book that both began and finished it all. Now I’m not saying for everyone to stop using devotionals because devotionals are a great way to guide your daily quiet times with the Lord. I am saying that we need to treasure God’s Word more than we treasure the spiritual words of others. We need to revere the Word in desperation of finding God.
So back to where I started. Disciples are meant to both embrace and assist in spreading the Word of God. We need to embrace God’s teachings which we can only do by approaching God’s Word with boldness, knowing that He will meet us where we are. (Ephesians 3:12) Also, we need to assist in the spreading of the Word of God. Not only does He call us to read His teachings but also “go and make disciples of all nations” Matt. 28:19.
Being a disciple is a life-long devotion to the One who devoted His life for us. We are not made to follow Christ but should be willing and desire to follow Him.
So, my goal in 2014 is not to be filled with the words of others but to seek the Creator whose words hold the power to change and rearrange our worldly desires.
Let His words change your perspective so that we may embrace His teachings and assist others in knowing the power of the Gospel.
Let’s be true disciples.