I shared a nugget on my WhatsApp page sometimes back and it reads: The mark of spiritual maturity is your willingness to sacrifice your desires for the interest of the Kingdom, and someone sent me a message in reply to my status saying “but you know it’s really not easy”. Who said to be a Believer was easy, no wonder we have the precious Holy Spirit. We don’t have to live the God-life by our own human efforts and the truth is that we CAN’T live the God-life by our human efforts, it takes the Spirit of God. Because we live the God-life by the Spirit, we don’t see what we go through or the sacrifices we make for the Kingdom sake as burdensome but as a demonstration of our love and worship to the Father.
We have been called to a life of followship, not to a followship of man but of God. Not a followship of the things He gives or His giftings but a followship of who He is. Many follow His powers, miracles, healings, provisions but fail to know what it means to follow Him. We fail to understand that the things He gives to us CANNOT replace Him, they are not a substitute for Him. We have not been called to follow man but to follow Christ. It is only in following Jesus that we truly become like Him in every sense of the way. That is, the evidence of eternal life that we possess is manifested through our followship.
When Jesus called Peter and his brother Andrew while they were fishing, He said to them “follow me…I will make you fishers of men…they left their nets and followed him” (Matt 4:19 & 20, emphasis added). The Greek word for follow in this passage is deute (dyoo’-te), meaning “come here”, from the Thayer’s Definition. While the word followed in the Greek means to join one as a disciple or become a disciple. Jesus told them to come to him, why? Peter later understood why He asked them to come when he said: “You have the words of eternal life” (See John 6:68).
We have not just come (to receive salvation) but also to follow. When Peter and his brother answered the call to come, they didn’t stop there, they followed Him. Because as we follow, we are been transformed into the image and likeness of the One we follow. The invitation to come couldn’t turn the disciples into fishers of men in one day, it took three and a half years of following Jesus! The Book of Acts records something profound when they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus (4:13, NIV).
Right now, Jesus is physically not present with us, and someone may ask “how do I then follow Jesus?”. Through the Word. He is not physically present with us but He has given us His Spirit to reveal Him through His Word to us. following Jesus is having a transformed mind so that you will begin to think and see things from the perspective of the One you are following. While you are fixing your eyes on Jesus, you are to follow (imitate in the Greek) them who through faith and patience inherit the promises (See Heb 6:12).