Written by Nick Tarter
What I am about to write is going to sound super obvious, but I don’t think we dwell on the meaning of this enough. Following Jesus means that we should follow him. I mean that we should actually do so and not merely imagine doing so in the hypothetical realm. This means that we are to trail him, going where he goes and not turning aside to the right or to the left. As long as we are on his tail, we will do what’s right and good. It is when we depart from following him by looking away, turning aside, that we find ourselves out of step with our master’s way. It is in that place where we find trouble.
Too often we overcomplicate discipleship. We convince ourselves that it is about forcing ourselves to be right when in reality, it’s about following Jesus. Follow him. Keep in step with him and we will be okay. He shows us how to get to the destination he desires for us.
A few months ago an older woman walked into our church building asking directions. I told her how to get to her destination but she was confused. She was not registering my instructions. Rather than leave her on her own, I grabbed my keys and told her to follow me. I drove my Jeep to her destination and she followed me in her car. The place was about a mile away, but she had driven around for a long time on her own and hadn’t found it. She got there, not based on her ability to find the place, but because I knew how to get there and she followed me. That’s a lot what it’s like to follow Jesus. We stay behind him, walking closely and keeping in step with him and in doing so we find ourselves nearing the destination he had in mind for us when he created us in the first place.
“I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh.”
Galatians 5:16 CSB