You see, I'd like to share my life with you
and show you things I've seen.
Places that I'm going to
and places where I've been.
To have you there beside me and never be alone.
And all the time that you're with me, we will be at home.
Follow me where I go
what I do and who I know.
Make it part of you to be a part of me.
Follow me up and down
all the way and all around.
Take my hand and say you'll follow me.
Oh, that John Denver! He had a way with words. I grew up on listening to John Denver songs, which probably reveals my age, as some of you are thinking who is John Denver? His lyrics so often make me think of Jesus! And lately, my sweet Lord has been speaking to my heart about following Him.
We so often try to forge our own path in life. But the path we need to take has already been forged by Jesus. He has shown us the way to go. He has demonstrated how to get there. He says it's by doing what the Father does (John 5:19). Following God is so simple, yet it can feel so elusive to us at times.
If we struggle with following Jesus and doing what He did, maybe it's because we don't know Him enough. Maybe we need to read and re-read the gospels to see His way of doing life come alive. Maybe we need to sit quiet, heart open, and ask Him what He is doing (1 Corinthians 2:10). Maybe we need to just get out there in the community and practice what we have seen Him do: Heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead.
And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:7-8, AMP)
And if that sounds scary or strange, then maybe just start with being like Him, which is kind, honest, loving, forgiving and openly honest about His hope. There are so many out there waiting to hear and see.
I see lots of moms lately who are checking out. They are medicating, walking away, or just wishing for someone else to do it all. I can understand the urge to be apathetic and have been there a time or two. Honestly, I think we know how to hide really well. Hide from people. Hide from work. Hide from responsibilities. Maybe it's because we are afraid. Maybe we're being selfish. Maybe we're tired. Maybe we don’t know any other way.
Whatever it is, it’s time to come out of hiding and engage in this life we've been given. God promises to be with us and to give us strength. Our children need to witness us making an honest attempt at following God so that they have a visual on how that looks. Sometimes actions speak louder than words. We can tell them all day long to follow God and have them memorize scriptures, but they need to see it, too.
At times, I look at my kids and think, what kind of life will they have one day with all this chaos happening in the world? But that's not a good way to look at things. I should be praying and declaring the promises of God instead. I should be filled with hope and filled with His promise of abundant life—for me and my children. I should be demonstrating a relationship with Jesus, inside and outside the church walls. An intimate, personal relationship with Him that is teaming with His way of life and love.
Everywhere Jesus went, He introduced the Kingdom. The disciples, too, announced the kingdom of heaven is at hand. I think there is something vital for us in that statement. I think we need to announce the kingdom of heaven, not just by preaching it, but by showing people what that looks like. It looks like joy, peace, love. It looks like healing, forgiveness, honor. It looks like salvation, and it's the kind that is available to all through One unending source. We cannot ignore His mandate to follow Him. And the more we know Him, the more we want to follow Him.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21 AMP)
Friends, let’s follow the One who will lead us down the right path. Let’s follow the One who knows the way, walks beside us, and has been down the road before without faltering. Let’s decide now to stay the course, eyes on Him, ears listening for that beautiful voice of truth. Let’s show our children what it looks like to follow our Savior wholeheartedly.
Precious Lord, help us to follow You. We want to know You, and we want to do what You do. We want to look and sound just like our Father in Heaven. Teach us and strengthen us by Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name.
Author: Kerri Barfield