Following Jesus the Leader

Luke 6:46-49 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

Matthew 6:7-15 “Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’”

Christ is more than just our savior, He is our leader. Salvation is a true acceptance of God’s intended order. God leads and we follow. God is our Father and we are His children. God is the Shepherd and we are the sheep. God speaks and we listen!

Many have received Christ as Savior, few choose to follow Him as Lord. Jesus asked His followers a very pragmatic question. “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” In other words, “What on earth do you mean by such praise?”

When Jesus looked upon the crowds, He saw children in need. He had compassion upon those who needed practical help. He met people at their point of need. Even so, meeting humanity was not His ultimate purpose. Rather, he met us so He could lead us.

“Follow me!” This is God’s voice to us. Every healing, every salvation, every miracle, is accompanied by these words. “Now that I’ve touched you. . . Let me lead you!”

I often ask individuals to raise their hand when receiving Christ as their Savior. When I think about this activity, I see God running towards every hand that is lifted up in sincere contrition. I see God grabbing these new creations by the hand and pulling them towards their destiny.

Christ says to each of us, “Now that you are my child, I give you the purposes of my kingdom.” Unfortunately, as Christ pulls us up out of our poison patches, we often resist his leading. We choose rescue, but we resist mission!

God gives every Christian a mission. When we receive Christ we are given permission to advance God’s kingdom. From day one, we have the radical assignment of revealing God’s will to the world.

The Lord’s prayer lets us in on God’s not so secret agenda for our lives. Jesus taught us to pray in this manner, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Salvation is an enlistment. We say no to our authority and yes to God’s kingdom.

Followers of Jesus are about “the Father’s business.” Followers of Jesus are familiar with “the Father’s house.” Followers of Jesus are identified by kingdom fruit. Works do not make us righteous. Rather, our works demonstrate the righteousness we have received. We don’t read the Bible, pray, and worship to prove our worth. We do these things because Christ is with us. We do these things because we daily follow Jesus.

The question remains. . . Why do we call Christ Lord, Lord, but still refuse to do much of what He says?

I believe this is an issue of trust. It is one thing to trust God will save us, it is another to trust God will provide. Scriptures calling us to love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us. Scripture also commands us to seek God’s Kingdom first. Following these commandments is an issue of provision.

When it comes to our enemies, we must trust God’s justice is enough. We must have faith God will provide what we need to survive the injustices of this world. The Word of God urges us to believe God will give us the earthly provision and protection necessary for our lives. These are issues of provision. By faith we are trusting our savior to lead us into places of complete dependence. We are willing to give up the praise of man and the comfort of possessions to follow the complete purposes of God.

You and I were made to be followers, sheep, even perpetual children! The world sees these terms as signs of weakness. However, in God’s economy, dependence leads to authority. When we yield our authority, we allow for God’s authority to be expressed through our life to others. We become agents of transformation. God transforms the world through followers. He moves mountains through sheep. He topples kingdoms through adults who believe themselves to be little children.

What has God called you to do? Are you serving Christ to get your commands met? What would happen if we simply followed God’s commands instead? Endlessly asking God to answer your requests only leads to more requests. Pursuing God’s requests leads to world changing transformation. This requires that Christ becomes more than just our Savior. He must also become our leader.

Luke 6:35-38 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

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