God's way - Man's way

What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus?

If you’ve been around church or Christianity for any length of time, you’ve undoubtedly heard something said about “following Jesus.” On the surface it seems like a pretty simple concept, right? Like if you told me to follow the blue car in front of me. I would focus on the tail lights of the blue car, then go where it goes and at the speed it’s going. Simple, right? But what does it mean to follow Jesus… really?

Well, maybe the best way I can describe what it means to follow Jesus is to first point out what following Jesus is not.

Can’t go in two directions at the same time

Many a person has prided themselves as being a good “multi-tasker.” I would not put myself in that category whatsoever. Whether you might believe you can carry out more than one thing simultaneously, there is one thing that is not possible to multi-task, no matter how skilled you may be: going in two directions at the same time. Following the nature of the world and following the ways of Jesus will lead a person in 180 degree opposite directions. Either we’re aligning our beliefs, attitudes, and actions with the fallen nature of man, or we’re turning them toward Jesus Christ.

“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”

Proverbs 14:12 NIV

Can’t follow two roadmaps at the same time

Even if you’ve committed your mind and will to turn your life toward Jesus, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are following Him one decision at a time, one day at a time. You can determine to “follow” Christ, yet still insist on doing it your way. One indicator of this is when you attempt to control outcomes of the various aspects of your life. To follow Jesus calls us to trust, surrender to His ways, and let go of what is only His to control.

“A man’s mind plans his way, as he journeys through life. But the Lord directs his steps and establishes them.”

Proverbs 16:9 AMP

Can’t seek two destinations at the same time

The human nature loves the thought of a goal, objective, destination, or finish line in nearly everything we do. Even if there isn’t one, we tend to fabricate one just to give us something to push toward. The competitive human nature is drawn to winning, being first, accomplishing goals, gaining accolades, and so on. No matter how hard we strive, how diligently we seek to achieve the goal, or how we perform in comparison with others, all of this is for naught if if we aren’t clear on what the objective is. When you choose to “follow” Jesus, the destination is clearly defined for you:

“Jesus was asked, of all the commandments, which is the most important? “Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.”

Mark 12:28-31 NLT

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