Are you a follower? There are all sorts of things that you can follow in this world. Some people follow sports. Some people follow politics. Some people follow other people's activities on Facebook or Twitter. Truth be told, we are all following something or someone. But the kind of follower that I really had in mind is this one: Are you a follower of the Lord?
A lot of times it is easier to spot those other kinds of followers than it is to spot followers of the Lord. A sports follower shows their allegiance by wearing their team's colors. A member of a particular political party makes their affiliation known by bumper stickers or maybe by their stance on certain topics. A follower of Facebook or Twitter simply has a web page listing their connections. But how do you show that you are a follower of the Lord?
Well, the bible tells us what God desires from those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. Let's read on and see what it says.
For one thing, the Lord wants his followers to follow him alone. You cannot say that Jesus Christ is your Lord and yet you follow all of the spiritual, mystical, occultic nonsense that is coming down the pike. You cannot be of two or three or seven opinions regarding what your belief system entails. I know many "Christians" who involve themselves with things such as Astrology and Feng Shui and Laws of Attraction and yoga, yet they do not seem to realize or care that these things are in total opposition to what the Holy Bible teaches. They chase after every new-fangled ism and dogma and transcendental New Age thought and just tack it on to their own made-up version of Christianity. They remind me of the people of Athens spoken about in Acts 17:21, "For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing."
But God's Word shows us that this double-mindedness is not pleasing to the Lord. So you need to figure out who or what you truly want to follow because the Lord is not interested in piecemeal faith.
1 Kings 18:21, "And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word."
Exodus 34:14, "For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God."
Isaiah 42:8, "I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images."
Jeremiah 13:10, "This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing."
James 4:8, "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded."
Now, maybe you would argue, "Well, I don't really follow that stuff. I'm just a little curious about it. It's just harmless entertainment." I would again stress to you that Astrology, Feng Shui, LOA, et cetera, these things are not pleasing to the Lord and have nothing to do with Christianity. They are straight from Satan himself and should hold no appeal to any true follower of Jesus Christ. There is nothing harmless about it, and a Christian should not have anything to do with any of it. These verses below make it very plain:
Corinthians 10:21,"Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils; ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils."
Ephesians 5:11-12, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret."
Jeremiah 17:5, "Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord."
A true follower of Christ puts their faith and trust in Jesus alone. A true follower of Christ reads their bible for guidance and direction. The constellations do not hold the answers. Oprah Winfrey or some other human guru cannot save you. And there are no Secrets that this world offers that you should find enticing. John 10:4, "And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice."
Jesus' voice is the voice you should be listening to, and Christ ALONE is the one you should be following if you are truly a Christian.
Now, what else does the Lord desire from those who profess to be his followers? The Lord wants us to strive to live holy, righteous lives. Being a follower of Christ should mean that you are no longer sinning like the unsaved people in the world. The bible calls us strangers, pilgrims. We are sojourners just passing through this wicked world on our way to our true home heaven. Jesus' shed blood does not just save us from hell later. Through it we have power to overcome sin and live righteous lives TODAY, and that is what the Lord expects from his followers. Here are a few verses that speak on this:
1 Thessalonians 4:7, "For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness."
2 Corinthians 7:1, "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
1 Peter 1:14-16, "As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."
Psalm 56:13, "For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?"
2 Timothy 2:19, "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."
Titus 2:12, "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world."
1 John 1:6, "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth."
Romans 6:22, " But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."
1 Peter 2:11, "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul."
The Lord cares for his followers and only wants the best for us. His commandments, rules, and call for holiness are given because He loves us and wants to shield and protect us from the ravages of sin. And it should not be a hardship for you to give up your past sinful ways. It should be with joy and gladness that you turn from those former lusts and follow this new path that the Lord has laid out for you.
So ask yourself these questions: Have I been striving against all known sin? Have I been living soberly, righteously and godly? Have I been reading God's Word daily and obeying what I have learned? Am I willing to give up all for Christ?
A true follower of the Lord should be able to answer those questions with a resounding "yes." Your life should be bearing fruit unto holiness. Anyone can say that they are a follower of Christ, but your day-to-day actions really show if Jesus is truly your Lord and Savior.
Unfortunately, I think a lot of times instead of striving to live holy lives, as the Lord desires of us, people instead take their cues from those folks around them. I call it monkey-see, monkey-do faith. "Oh, well, so-and-so is a Christian, and if she/he speaks like this, and listens to that, and goes there, and fornicates, and dresses in that fashion, and imbibes, then it must be okay if I do it too." But we cannot base our Christian walk on the lives or actions of others. There are many wolves in sheep's clothing pretending to be Christians. There are many devils in disguise trying to lead you on the path to perdition. And there are many confused people who do not even realize that they are still on the road to hell themselves. The verses below warn us about this:
Romans 12:2, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
1 John 3:7-8, "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."
Proverbs 30:12, "There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness."
3 John 1:11, "Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God."
Reader, don't follow your friends. Don't follow your preacher. Don't be conformed to this world. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, follow Jesus Christ. If you love the Lord like you say you do, keep his commandments. If you are grateful that Christ died for your sins and made a way for you to go to heaven, stop sinning. And once you have put your hand to the plough and are on your way to the Promised Land, don't look back.
Jesus is the Light of the World; the Lamb of God; the Rock; the Alpha and Omega; the Good Shepherd; the Bridegroom; the Savior; the Author and Finisher of our faith; the King of kings; the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Nothing in this world compares to Him. I cannot understand why anyone would not want to follow him and him alone.
Mark 8:34, "And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."