Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?
“If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I’m leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you’ll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels.”Mark 8:34-38 MSG
Following Jesus is exactly that. It’s following God. The Holy Spirit is God. When we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit we are following Jesus and the Father.
We don’t follow our own imaginations. We don’t follow our own earthly desires. We don’t follow a system of rules and regulations. We follow the Spirit’s leading.
Even as Jesus and the Father are One, He desires that we be one with Him and the Father as well. How is that possible? We become one with the Spirit. How do we do that? We surrender to His will. We still have a mind, we still have emotions, but we use our will to agree with God’s will. Our wills rule and reign over our thoughts and feelings. We can do it afraid. That’s when we grow. Step outside of your comfort zone.
God wants to lead you, but He won’t violate your free will. Otherwise, free will wouldn’t be free will. Think about it this way, can love be love if it’s forced or coerced? No. Love is only love if it’s given away freely. God wants us to love Him like He loves us, but He can’t make us. We get to choose to love God back.
God wants us to love our neighbors like He loves them. He loves them as much as He loves us, saved or not yet saved. But He can’t force us to love them. We get to choose to love them. We get to choose to obey God’s perfect will.
That’s the choice we get. Every moment of every day. Will I follow God’s way of doing things? Or will I follow the devil’s way of doing things? It’s one or the other. Obedience or rebellion. It’s a story as old as time. There’s nothing new under the sun.
God wants us to follow Him. When we believe in Jesus as Messiah, the deliverer of God’s chosen people, He places His Spirit within us. That’s called being born again. We are no longer what we were. We are a new creation in Christ. God is now our Father, our Heavenly Father. We have been forever adopted into His eternal family of love and grace by His mercy and kindness. All of this is made possible by Jesus and His atoning sacrifice. We are no longer under the penalty and power of sin. Can we disobey? Yes. Should we? No.
Decide for yourself, once and for all, who you will follow and serve. God or the devil? And stick with those who are in agreement with you. No one walks alone. Either you follow the Holy Spirit or you follow some other spirit. Every other spirit is a liar. The truth is not in them. Will you follow the truth or believe a lie? Only you can decide.
Father in Heaven, deliver us from lying spirits that trick and deceive us into doing the devil’s bidding. We choose to renounce any agreement we have made with any unclean spirit. Set us free O God from deception and error. Give us clean hands. Give us pure hearts. Cleanse us from within by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Place Your seal on us and keep us free from the corrupting influence of the world and the spirit of religion. Set us free to be Your children. Let us walk in Your love, Your grace and Your Spirit. Christ is King and we are Your humble servants. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit afresh. Amen.
Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.Philippians 2:12-13 NLT