Jesus called Matthew: Follow me, and he followed Him. So it has been with all the first disciples. They heard about Jesus, they met Jesus and they decided to follow Him. Then He told them that they will make disciples. He told them to go preach the Gospel and make disciples. Great! He told them that He will never leave them, He will be always with them and in them. He sent Holy Spirit and those first disciples turned the world upside down. They made disciples who were ready to die for Jesus, the ONE they never met. And so continued, they made disciples who followed Jesus.
Then the corruption of truth started and the church became the most important thing. The church became powerful in such a way that people became afraid of other people in the church. And then people begun pleasing people. Church leaders started positioning themselves in a pedestal of being right. Then someone became the vicar of Christ, making people believe that he needs to be followed now.
Paul said: “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1Co 11:1) This is what I need to draw the attention today. In what extent do we need to follow men? Paul said follow me. Jesus said follow me. The church pastor says “follow me”.
Looking at more than 30,000 Christian groups/denominations today makes me to think regarding the leader and the followers.
If all church leaders follow Christ, why do they bring division in the Body of Christ?
If all leaders follow Christ, why they write against each other doctrines?
“A house divided cannot stand” – Jesus said (Mark 3:25). So how the church of God can be united and follow Jesus?
I have these prescriptions, knowing that they are not complete or 100% accurate, but I hope that will make you re-think and re-evaluate which one are you following:
– know the Bible well. God is Spirit and those who worship Him, must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. So while we aim to follow the Spirit in His revelations, first we need to be solid on the revealed revelations. As God has been revealing Himself through generations, He wanted that those records to be passed to other generations. This wealth of the revelation of God contains a solid foundation where we can build our confidence during our journey following Jesus. Having the word of God in our hearts and minds will help us distinguish His voice in this present age. There are many voices who are calling people. The Good Shepherd is calling too. Those who belong to Him, recognize His voice and they will not follow another voice. They will will be trained first by listening the voice of God through the Scriptures.
– do the basics well. When someone is born again, God Himself is manifested in His life. The fruit of the Spirit are visible. The gifts of the Spirit began to operate. A child of God tells other people about the experience with the living God, has a desire to do the right thing, instead of doing things in the old way. When a born again Christian does the basics, he is active on following God on the actual revelation. His heart is sincere to do God’s will. This attitude will help the new believer to follow God’s voice and not peoples’.
– have fathers and mothers in faith. They are better than teachers and they are rare. Stick with those who have helped you knowing God and find similarities on what God has been doing and saying at your lives. Parents will tell the truth to their kids, even when it is hard to do. But the influence of parents vanishes as the child grows. It is not normal for a christian to expect to be treated as a baby when already they need to live as adults. As adults they need to be ready to talk about God with their parents and evaluate what their parents believe according to the Scriptures. This is where many Christians fail. When their parents in faith or church leaders are saying or doing something not right according to the Scriptures, they turn their eyes blind. At those moments the leader becomes the truth and everything wrong done or said is justified.
-don’t settle until you reach the destination. Everytime a reformation happened two groups emerge with opposite sides: the persecutors (initial group) and persecuted (the reformers). Later the reformers are challenged with another reform which many times they haven;t been ready to accept. So the former persecuted, now have become the persecutors. THe reason is that when a new revelation has come in the church, the reformers thought that that;s the one missing. So when another group later points out something wrong in theology or practice, the pride of being right can;t accept it. I always remind myself that while Luther and Calvin brough reformation in the church, they still believed in the baptism of babies. So when Anabaptists refused that, the reformers became the persecutors. How to avoid this trap? I suggest having a heart attitude that is open to accept that what I’m doing, believing or teaching is not 100% biblical. Everyone wants to believe that everything they believe is pure gospel. But the reality is not. So it is possible to live self-deceived, believing that the truth is on your side only. If you change that, you will not settle in the middle of the journey, but will be looking for the perfect revelation of Christ, which will happen when we meet Him face to face. “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away“. (1Cor 13:9-10)
In the end of this article I want to say that we all will fall in situations where we follow men more than God, even when we have difficulty accepting it publicly. This can happen when interests are mingled or we feel that someone really have found the narrow path 🙂 I’ve been there. I’ve repented. I’ve made some adjustments. I have fallen again, and again I have repented and adjusted. This is a long journey. Until we have the last breath, Jesus is still saying: “FOLLOW ME”.