“Come, follow Me…” Matthew 4:19
It’s undeniably true: you are a follower.
And so am I, for that matter. We all are.
Granted, we like to follow different things, but we all follow something. In fact, we’re probably following a number of things right now. It might be:
• A sports team
• The stock market
• A hobby
• Your dreams
The possibilities are endless.
Whatever it is we follow, we’ve deemed it worthy of our time, attention, and affection. Otherwise, we wouldn’t pursue it in the first place.
You see, following anything takes intentionality.
And this was especially true for Peter and Andrew that day on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus’ invitation to follow Him drew a line in the sand. If they accepted, their lives would fundamentally change. They couldn’t remain full-time fishermen and follow Jesus at the same time.
Something had to give.
At that moment, they had no idea what lay ahead. There was no guarantee of a positive outcome. Yet, Peter and Andrew left everything behind and followed Jesus into the unknown.
In his book, Rediscovering Discipleship, Robby Gallaty explains what it meant to follow a rabbi, “It involved a literal kind of following, in which the disciples often traveled with, and imitated their rabbis, learning not only from what they said but from what they did—from their reactions to everyday life as well as the manner in which they lived.”
Of course, we can’t literally follow behind Jesus like Peter and Andrew, but we are called to “walk as Jesus did,” imitating His way of life (1 John 2:6). Remember, to follow Jesus is not just attending a church service, ascribing to the doctrine of Scripture, and adhering to its moral guidelines. (Though each of these is certainly important.)
Following Jesus requires more than simply reading a daily devotional.
Following Jesus is about a living, vibrant relationship with the Person of Jesus, not merely a set of principles. Like Jesus’ original disciples, we seek to learn from Him in everyday situations. We should strive to have Him influence not only our actions but our reactions as well.
But guess what?
It won’t happen without a purposeful effort every single day.
If we’re not intentionally following, then we are slowly but surely drifting away.
That’s because following Jesus is a choice we must make moment by moment throughout the day. And all these little moments add up over a lifetime: day by day, week by week, month by month, year after year, all helping to prevent us from simply drifting along.
Sure, there will inevitably be an ebb and flow in how closely we follow Him. We will have days of closeness and days when He seems distant. But through it all, our hearts must intentionally pursue Him through every season of life.
So, what will you do today?
Follow or Drift?
May we never follow the lesser things of this world with greater diligence, enthusiasm, or focus than how we follow Jesus.
Written by Jonathan Munson, Executive Director, RFTH