Faith

Are you Following Jesus?

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. ~Matthew 16:24 (NKJV)

I am seeing an alarming trend these days.  People are following other people, or churches, governments, etc,.  This should not be. Jesus was clear, we are to deny ourselves and follow Him. Him and Him alone.  Every person should follow Jesus for He alone can save us!

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photo credit: kthypryn via photopin cc

Not just in unbelievers

Following anyone or anything else will lead us astray.  The sad part is that this trend is not just in unbelievers, but I also see this among believers.  Some people want to follow one Pastor or the other, but they do not use caution and they become more about pleasing the pastor and less about following Gods commands.  This was also a problem in the bible where people want to follow this teacher or that instead of just staying true to Jesus. (1 Cor 1:10-17)

Consistently Intentional

This narrow path requires that we remain intentional and that we keep our eyes on Jesus.  There is no one else who can save us.  Even our leaders have to maintain focus on Jesus.

I think some people fail to realize that following Jesus is not a one time deal. We must daily submit to His will for our lives, repenting when we mess up sin or try to take control.

I know that for me it requires being intentional about laying it all at his feet and looking to Him for guidance. I can’t do it alone. At the same time it is not just a passive thing we must also take action.

Carrying the Cross

The bible says we must pick up our cross and follow Him.  The cross is not pleasant. It is a torturous and humiliating death. If Jesus asks us to take up our cross, and we know what His was, then why do we think ours should be easier?

He never said it would be easy.  We have to die to ourselves. Most of us know that death is not guaranteed to be painless. Well neither is dying to ourselves. It will hurt as we learn to give up bad habits and patterns of relating.

See if you refuse to deny yourself and take up the cross, then it will be impossible to fully follow Jesus.  We can feed the flesh or the spirit, but it is impossible to feed both equally because the spirit is at war with the flesh.  To please God we must die to the flesh so that we can walk in the spirit.

Maybe this sounds too hard or even impossible to you, but the Word says that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. Nothing is impossible with Christ.

Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for? ~Matthew 16:24-26 (MSG)

So I ask are you taking up your cross to follow Christ? Have you been guilty of following another?

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5 thoughts on “Are you Following Jesus?

  1. Well said, Deanna, and so true. Interestingly enough, yours is the second blog I’ve come across in two days that spoke of this very thing, referencing the same verse.

    By the way…I love what you’ve done with your blog. Beautiful!

    • Thank you Pamela!! I feel like this look is just perfect for what I want the blog to portray. I’m also continuing my series this year, hoping to really bring God’s message to light in a different way.

    • I fully believe that we need to live life to the fullest. I also believe that for me to do that I have to die to my own selfish desires and those things that are contrary to the message of God. There are some things that come naturally to me that I know are not part of Gods will for my life.

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