Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Who Do You Follow?

"'Do what you think is best,' the youth replied. 'I'm with you heart and soul'" (1 Samuel 14:7).

In 1995, I was on a ministry trip with our youth group from our small rural town in northeast Texas to the big city of Dallas.  How exciting.  17.  A driver's license.  A car.  No idea where I was going.  These were the ingredients that made up for one incredibly long and interesting night.

Our team was going to be ministering in a church that weekend through music and drama, and we were at the church that evening to practice for the next morning's services.  The idea after the practice, was that we would all caravan back to the house that we were to stay.  Being from a small country spot on the map, I was to follow the lead car for our safe and quick return.  However, I got distracted with friends in the car, forgot that I was following and was driving like I was leading.  When exit after exit began to pass me by, I realized that I was on a major 5 lane freeway, at night, with no idea where I was, no idea where I was going, and no cell phone.  I was lost.

Though this makes for a humorous story at my expense, there is a great truth to be learned.  It matters who you follow.  In addition to who we follow, it matters how consistently we follow.  The power of this verse is rooted in its context.  This was the story of Jonathan, the prince of Israel, passionately in pursuit of God, and to see His victory achieved in the lives of the people of his nation.  Enter the armor bearer.  He was committed heart and soul to one who was committed heart and soul to the One.  It mattered who he followed.  It mattered that he trusted his leader.  His own course and destination rested in who he followed, where he followed, and how he followed.

You are called to and created for living life surrendered to God in Jesus Christ.  Like the importance of following someone who knows where they are going in a large city at night, you are to follow Christ.  He will lead you through the twists and turns, the exits and the on ramps, through the night and the traffic, because He knows the way.  He's traveled the road.  Don't give into the popular mindset of your culture that beckons you to make your own way or to follow your own dream.  Lean on Him.  Trust in Him.  Follow Him heart and soul, from the core of your being, and with all that is within you.

Let today be a day of rest, reflection, repentance, and restart.  Rest - slow down the pace and check your GPS.  Are they His coordinates or yours?  Reflect - who's trying to lead who?  Is He leading you or are you trying to lead yourself?  Repent - ask for forgiveness for not living in the total surrender that He calls for.  Repent for trying to do it your own way, in your own time, and based on your own limited understanding.  Restart - get moving.  He's not done with you.  He desires to lead you in a direction that will take your farther than you've ever known before.

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