As believers of Jesus Christ we should always be ready to give Him the maximum room to work in our lives. He is God, the Almighty, and the more often and freely He works in us the more peaceful and joyful life we have. One thing we must do to give Him that room is follow Him. After having seen the many things He has done for and to us and having learned of Him from the Word, we should not neglect the opportunity provided to follow Him. As we continually follow Him, we see Him do greater things in our life. Everything He does has a meaning, a purpose and a result. One of the lovable characteristics of Him is that He is always ready to help and sustain us. He is never frustrated with us or is never over burdened by us; for He bore all our sin by a cruel death on the cross.
Jesus has the power and authority to change our life; He is able to provide breakthroughs. While John was writing the gospel, he said “A large crowd followed Him, because they saw the signs which He was performing on those who were sick” (John 6:2). Jesus demonstrated Himself to people by the power God bestowed on Him. So, multitudes of people followed Him. He demonstrates Himself in varying degrees to let men know He is with them. Many times believers take His demonstrations lightly. And they miss seeing the greater things He can do in their life. Walking with God, obedience, righteousness and godly living all amount to the notion of following Him to which we are called. And if these are our chores, we see Him do greater things in our life.
We are called to witness the greater signs Jesus performs. His signs are not only works that instantly happen like healing, but also the doors He opens, which cannot be opened apart from Him. They are the ways He creates for us. They are even the promptings of the Spirit that save, protect and lead us. When He fulfills His promises to us, it is by His signs. It was by a sign that God fulfilled His promise to Abraham concerning a son. What we profoundly learn from the apostle’s writing is the capability of our Lord and His kindness. Even for unbelievers He performs signs in varying degrees so they might perpetually follow Him.
Listen, if you have witnessed Him do a sign for you, hold on to it perpetually. Doing so will give you the heart and mind to follow Him. It is the courage to trust Him. He wants you to follow Him without qualms. Just as the signs on the road are meant to lead us to our destination even so the signs He does lead us to the goals He desires we meet. At times our circumstances force us to give up holding on to the sign He performed. Satan ardently tries to confuse our thoughts through various hindrances so that we lose trust in our Lord’s ability. But if we are determined not to listen to his whisperings, we overcome and see the greater works of our Lord and the fulfillment of our works. Rehearsing His sign gives the determination to overthrow Satan’s whisperings. His sign speaks contrarily to any promptings or whisperings of Satan. And if there are many signs of the Lord in our life, we are only that much stronger to follow Him. Then, no matter what comes our way we are bound to see joy in life.
And let us consider a few things that will help lead us to joy and that will keep us on track to follow Him.
- Master sin. In other words overcome sin. The only way for it is to follow the instructions and wisdom in the Word. They not only give the knowledge of sin, but also great strength to overcome it. The Word has life and power, because it is God. Hence, when the apostles instructed the gentile Christians the words of Christ, they did not neglect or fear following Him, and rejoiced. They said, “But concerning the Gentiles who have believed, we wrote, having decided that they should abstain from meat sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication” (Acts 21:25). Abstaining from sin by the Word is mastering sin.
- Exercise our gift. When we are mastering sin, we can fluently exercise the gift God has given us. Each man undoubtedly receives a gift from God. Paul in the Spirit said, “Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that” (1 Cor. 7:7). So, firstly know your gift thoroughly. When you are saved and God calls you with a purpose, He bestows on you a gift that He believed is best for you. If you are exercising it, you are following Him, and there are more signs to appear from Christ. Whatever and whoever is against you, all will be removed.
- Recognizing deception. This is utterly necessary if we are to be with joy. Satan and his cohorts have umpteen ways to misdirect our obedience to Christ. By mastering sin and exercising our gift it is not difficult to identify the deceptions thrown at us. God’s Word and Spirit will always give us clues to side step deceptions. Deception is compelling to ears and tells to ignore the consequences that are bitter and appear in later times. But the Word and the whisperings of the Spirit speak otherwise. So, on one occasion Paul said, “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction” (2 Thess. 2:3). Every deception follows the same pattern. It says it will happen when it indeed will not and that it will not take place when it indeed would.
- Our significance. When we follow Christ, we are not mere disciples. We are much more. And we see it happen to the apostle. “James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ…” (Jam. 1:1). God in Christ transformed us from one stage to another and we stand in greater state. We were turned into bond-servants, since God purchased us with the precious blood of Christ. A bond-servant is meant to follow his Master.
- Our passion. It should be to walk in the truth. Whatever the situation we ought not to compromise it. In fact, we must tackle every situation by it. This is following Him. The outcome is joy to the Spirit and to the Lord. “For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth” (3 John 1:3). There should be no other duty for us than to bring joy to God. Then, Christ is pleased to perform signs for us.
- God’s will. Each one should keep the life God decided for him. It is the only way to have a perfect relationship with Him, i.e. follow Him. Since our life is not by our will or strength, our fear of Him will remain and we have a good reason to obey Him. It is also for this reason the believer said, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God” (2 Cor. 1:1). When our life is by His will, we walk in joy; for His signs keep us afloat.