‘When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.’ John 10:4 (NIV)
Have we Christians today lost the concept of following?
We use the word “Follow” often. We like to tell others that is what we do. We like to think that it is what we are doing. But do we know what we are talking about? What conditions need to be present for one to follow another? Should there be certain qualities and attitudes present? Should there be some actual interaction? To follow, do we need to know the intentions of the One Whom we would follow? Would that knowledge need to be dynamic and not static? Instead of hearing once a list of things to do, should it rather be a constant stream of instruction. Would it mean that we hear daily what is desired of us straight from the One we would follow? Does it mean that we would actually take the same steps? Does it mean we would take all of those steps instead of picking and choosing the ones we prefer?
To follow Jesus should we think that it is important that we are constantly looking to see where He is leading in each given moment? Should we actually see where He is moving and do whatever it takes to make sure that we get there too? Can we do this only on certain special days? Can we reserve it for those assigned moments that we specifically dedicate to spiritual matters? Do we even need to make an effort on our part to know if Christ approves of our way of thinking? Would we have to receive His reassurance for our following to be real?
Would following our Saviour mean that we should be hearing His voice as He said we would? Or is this just some flowery language used in the Bible and other religious books? Is it something we have created along with our church´s jargon? Or should we think that Jesus actually meant that people could hear from Him? Do we think a Being Who is now hidden from our earthly eyes would still be in contact with us even now today? Could Jesus be sending us messages constantly? Could He be impressing His will upon us even now? Could He still be speaking to those who want to hear from Him? Is He sending us a thousand sweet messages each and every day? Is He talking to us now?
Is it possible that we have more choices than we think? We may think that we must choose to follow Jesus and make a once and for all decision to that fact. But could it be possible for those who truly want to follow Him, that they must make a million small choices all the time? To actually follow each step that Jesus would give us today, must our following be an intimate walk with Him? Should we actively train our ears to listen for His direction for every thought and every action? Could this be where He is leading us now? If we want to form part of His flock, should we make vitally clear if we truly can see Him leading us now? Shall we make sure that we don´t miss a single step?
Dear Jesus, lead on! Thank You for taking the time to instruct us. But let us never place restrictions upon Your teaching. Let us hear what You have for us each day! Let us hear what You want us to have present in our thoughts in each moment! We want to be part of Your flock. We want You to lead us to our Father! But we don’t want to miss out on any important step. So draw us close now! Open our eyes to Your Word and to Your movement! Fill us with the vision of You so that we are able to follow every move!