Showing posts with the label Follow

God running this place?

There was one day when the Prophet Isaiah was speaking with the people, reporting on how Israel was finally at rest in the Promised Land, enjoying their feasts and festivals. There was worship in the land. They were finally 'settled' - no longer wandering hither and yon. The land was a blessing - providing for their needs in a great way. They were protected from attack - secure in their new homes. One of the best parts of the report was these words: "God runs this place and he'll keep us safe." When God is in control of our lives, we will be safe. If we take back that control, or just 'let it go' because we aren't paying attention, we will open the gates wide to disaster and destruction. Just take a look at Zion, will you? Centering our worship in festival feasts! Feast your eyes on Jerusalem, a quiet and permanent place to live. No more pulling up stakes and moving on, no more patched-together lean-tos. Instead, God! God majestic, God himself the plac

So, you lead and I follow?

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 finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for? (Matthew 16:24-26) Some of us don't really know the difference between following and leading as evidenced by us attempting to lead all the time! The primary difference is position. The leader is out front - the followers are moving "behind" the leader, but consistently in the same direction as the leader. This may seem a little rudimentary to some, but let me assure you, following is a lot tougher than just "getting in line" and "marching on". If you don't believe me, ask any first grade teacher on the first day of school! They will surely tell you how hard it is to keep th

Welcomed Dominion

Be careful to obey all the commands I am giving you today. Then you will live and multiply, and you will enter and occupy the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors. (Deuteronomy 8:1) Be Careful! The instructions the people who would become the nation of Israel received all those years ago. Though they were spoken to reference their specific movement from wilderness wandering into the land of Promise, they actually have application for us today. The first instruction they receive as they are about to set out on this new journey was to "be careful" - to mark their lives, their actions, and their thoughts with attentive concern so as to avoid error or any omission of truth or trust. The challenge to us is to be living in such a way that we show close attention to the details when it comes to conforming to the Word of God. It has often been said that the "devil is in the details", but I would like to challenge you to think more appropriately that "God is

I will follow you....

Remember the old Ricky Nelson song, "I Will Follow You"? The song started out with the words, " I will follow you, follow you wherever you may go, there isn't an ocean too deep, a mountain so high it can keep me away ." I know this song was talking about someone's "true love", but the words just stuck me this morning - I will follow you...wherever you may go. Those are powerful words - especially when they are spoken to Jesus in sincerity. The idea is that we will follow - even when things seem a little harder than usual, or when the path seems a little 'foggy' at times. We will follow - no matter what. Why? We love him and our heart sings just as Ricky used to sing, " I love you, I love you, I love you !" You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That’s right – you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight a

"MUST" says so much!

You must follow the  Lord  your God. Respect him. Obey his commands and do what he tells you. Serve the  Lord  your God, and never leave him. ( Deuteronomy 13:4   ERV ) Follow, Respect, Obey, Do, Serve, and Stay - all seem like pretty easy-peasy kind of stuff until you put them ALL together and then you expect ME to actually live them out in my everyday life! This passage starts out with an "imperative" - you MUST. Must is a small word, but there isn't any wiggle-room in the action that is expected when MUST precedes that action. All of us must eat to live - the need to eat overrides reason sometimes. If you don't believe me, just watch one of those survivor shows where they have to live off the land and see what kinds of stuff they actually eat just because they are hungry! I watched one guy trap rats and eat them; another something that had been found dead on the ground - each seeking to meet that need for protein, but each making less than desirable choices. Wh

Follow the Leader

In my youth, I tended to be a follower.  Everything I did was based on some insecurity I had formed within which almost demanded that I do things to please others.  In order to "feel" accepted, I did what they asked - even when what they asked would be contrary to what common sense, learned values, and/or sound advice would have warned against.   My choices landed me in many a predicament which required either my attempts at covering it up (when what I did was clearly wrong and would land me in trouble), or resulted in me being "accepted" but all for the wrong reasons entirely.   Being a follower is not always the best thing - unless the one you are following is Christ!  Yet even as we follow Christ, he doesn't want us to do so blindly or without purposeful intention.  To this end, he gives each of us a mind and expects we will use it! The Lord gave us each a mind, and nothing we do can be hidden from him.   (Psalm 33:15 CEV) As I was listening to th

Leading or Following - who's on first?

Lead and follow - two directional words, each conveying a little different action from us.  To lead, one is guiding something in a certain direction - the direction already being predetermined and the course understood.  To follow, one moves behind, but in the same direction as the one who leads.  It is most hard to get our ears to be leaders and our tongue followers, isn't it?  Most of the time, we allow our tongues to lead and then surprise our ears with whatever our tongues say! Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.  (James 1:19-21 MSG) This passage makes it quite clear why we might just have some of the issues in life we face today.  It is in the &quo