Have you ever been caravaning to a restaurant or something and the person driving the other car knows where you are going, but you don’t? And they are trying to explain how to get there, “You turn left out of this parking lot, go down the street until you get to the McDonald’s and then take the road past the second tree on your right and then make a u-turn…” and all I get is confused. My natural response is just to say, “How about I’ll just follow you?”
Following is supposed to be easy because I don’t have to figure anything out besides keeping my eyes on the person leading the way.
What about when it comes to following Jesus? We know we are supposed to follow Him, but sometimes we think following Him means trying to run after him, looking for footprints in the sand or trying to guess the “right” way - that’s not it at all!
In fact, the most basic truth of Jesus’ “Follow me” message is that JESUS GOES FIRST! We are simply told to follow him, and that means taking a step when HE takes one.
We don’t have a God who created everything and then left us to fend for ourselves. No, He says the Holy spirit resides within us and will lead and guide us how to follow Him.
We see this over and over again in Scripture. Jesus calls Peter and Andrew away from what they are doing as fishermen and only shows them one step of the journey at a time. God calls Abraham and Sarah away from their home and doesn’t tell them anything else about where they are going except that they have to leave.
And yet, I still find myself so afraid of following Him, of being obedient, because I am so concerned with my own efforts and “finding the right way” that I lose sight of the person I’m supposed to be following.
I was so afraid of that as a kid and as a young Christian. I thought obedience meant perfection and I figured I should just give up now, before I have to try and fail to be perfect.
Instead, I learned that true obedience to God means doing what He tells me to do. He wants my obedience, He isn’t trying to trick me, and He will make it clear when I need Him to. My job is to say “yes” to that.
I thought that “following God’s rules” was boring and guilt-inducing. However, when we see this rightly, we see that obeying God, following Him, is how we connect with Him. It’s how we learn to trust that His way is the best way. We take steps after Him and slowly begin to believe that He is trustworthy.
This is a vitally foundational concept for us to consider as Christians and as leaders. Our obedience and sensitivity to following Jesus one step at a time it how we are able to lead well and the only way that our leadership can flourish from a place of abundance, rather than pride or insecurity. It’s simple, but not easy, we follow Jesus where He leads us, one step at a time.