Matthew 16:24, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
The last of the three criteria that Jesus gave to be His disciple was to “follow Him.” To follow a teacher in the times of Jesus meant you had a sold out dedication to the leader’s teachings. Likewise, whatever Jesus taught the disciples, they were to fully believe and practice. Jesus reiterated this concept of being sold out to His teachings, at the end of His ministry in John 14:15 when He said, “If you love me, keep my commands.”
For Jesus there was no such thing as a disciple that did not follow His example, teachings and commands. Jesus never made a “Plan B;” it was always His way or no way.
After Jesus’ ascension to heaven He sent the Holy Spirit to daily guide the disciples and lead them into all truth, just like He promised in John 14:26. He also said that through the Holy Spirit, He along with the Father, would make His home in the disciple’s life so we would never be alone and always be able to follow Him. John 14:23, “Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.’”
Therefore, even though we cannot physically see Jesus and follow Him from town to town like the first disciples did, we can be led by the Holy Spirit every day and follow His example. Paul wrote in Galatians 5:25, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Consequently, every disciple, for all times and in all places, are able to follow Jesus by obeying all His commands by following the leading of the Holy Spirit.
When we follow Jesus everyday and in everyway, we show the world Jesus. God said in 1 John 4:17, “In this world we are like Jesus.” We are not supposed to be known for being like politicians, sports stars, the rich and famous or entertainers- we are commanded to be like Jesus in this world. The born again disciple doesn’t have to try to make himself or herself like Jesus, all they need to do is believe that they are already like Jesus and now live like it!
You can follow Jesus in everything you do. Just as much as you were a sinner and lived like the devil before Jesus, now in Christ, you can be a saint and live like Jesus and do the works of God. Mountain moving faith is yours. Water walking courage is yours. Demon casting out power is yours. Gospel preaching boldness is yours. Disciple making strategies are yours. You have all you need to live like Jesus because the same Holy Spirit that anointed Him, now is upon you. Rid yourself of all excuses and follow Jesus!
Zac Poonen wrote, “God is looking for men and women who will never be content with mere experiences and ‘blessings,’ but who will take up the cross daily and follow Jesus and thus manifest in their lives and in their service the reality of those words, ‘It is no longer I, but Christ that lives in me.’ This, and this alone is the Spirit-filled life.”
- Repent of anything that keeps you from following Jesus 100%.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you everyday in the ways of Jesus.
- If you ever get out of step with Jesus, repent and return to walking in His footprints!
One Year Reading Plan
1 Chronicles 2:18-4:4, Acts 24:1-27, Psalm 4:1-8, & Proverbs 18:16-18. Click here to read online.