We have heard it said many times, “Follow the Lord,” but have we given thought to exactly what that means? It is fair to say we can’t be faithful to something or someone if we don’t know the extent of what it means to ‘follow’. In the New Testament alone, the word ‘follow’ is used in various contexts 124 times. I want to offer six examples where we can be faithful to follow our Lord.
First: Heb. 13:7, Follow the example of those who walk by faith: “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.” I consider this to say, not only look to people of faith and follow their example, but also ‘choose’ carefully those you will follow. The key is: ‘considering the outcome of their conduct.” A faith that doesn’t lead to following our Lord and glorify Him is vain and empty.
Second: Follow (pursue) what is good for the glory of God. 1 PT 3:13 “And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?” This doesn’t mean we would be free from persecution, but it means as we journey in this world of sin, we should be leaving ‘pure’ footprints of righteous deeds behind us. We are called to live godly which will obviously result in doing good in the name of Christ.
Third: Follow in the sufferings of Christ: 1 PT 2:21 “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” This isn’t a subject most of us want to consider, but faithfully following the Lord will result in sufferings. When we follow the Lord, He leads us to places of hurt, pain, loneliness, and the dregs of sin. In each of these arenas there are those who suffer. In order to minister to them, will embrace them in their needs, and in so doing we also find we will embrace their sufferings as well. Jesus did this with everyone He encountered. He did this for us when He embraced our sin on the cross in order to set us free.
Fourth: Follow good doctrine: 2 Tim. 3:10 “But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance”. Let us not be people who follow blindly. Let us be people of the Bible, carefully studying and seeking to follow our Savior as He seeks to disciple us. Matthew says “Go and make disciples, teaching them to observe all things which I have commanded you…” To be a faithful disciple, you must follow good doctrine.
Fifth: Follow with your cross in hand. Matthew 10:38 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” We are called to follow Christ with the cross He assigns. I haven’t found any Bible verses that describes for us a ‘comfort’ gospel. To follow Christ with our cross means a willingness on our part to put the Kingdom of God first, to offer ourselves as a willing sacrifice for the cause of Christ.
Sixth: Follow Jesus: Mark 1:17 “Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” Follow Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Don’t get ahead of Him, don’t lag behind, simply look to Him and seek to go where He is leading. The Christian life could not be simpler than that. Many people wonder about the will of God for them. Remember you will always find yourself in the middle of God’s will by simply following the Lord.
I pray that is your desire today.
Dr. Michael Pope