"The bride will go where the bridegroom is. A bridegrooms friend rejoices with him. I am the bridegroom's friend, and I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less."
We are Jesus beloved, His bride. Are we fully willing to go where He is? Do we say "Lord, Lord" and then hesitate? Calling Jesus "Lord," accepting His sacrifice for us, so that we may have life, means commitment on our part. The message of Christ's love without the cross is not the full message of Christ. The cross, bearing our sin, pain, disease, anxieties, the punishment we should have borne! This is all taken so lightly. "Oh, thank you sweet Jesus for dying for me! I'm going to go continue on in my previous ways and just be grateful I am going to heaven."
This means being led in the small details of life. Just as the food we put in our bodies should be nutritious and not full of preservatives, what we put in our minds and hearts should be pure---not full of murder, lies, materialism or ideas/themes that are not of God's way! We make choices about what is put in our minds and hearts on a daily basis, not realizing that slowly it is building up a layer of sin on our hearts. Wrong ideas and thought processes are slowly and stealthily absorbed into the mind and heart. Just as "junk food" would eventually cause disease and decay in our bodies, what we put into our minds and hearts can cause disease and decay.
Just because a tv show, movie, book, speaker, or even church bears the name 'Christian' does not mean it/him/her is telling the truth of Jesus. There are many 'alternate' gospels and interpretations making their way into many popular, mainstream Christian offerings today. We are called to holiness. To be holy means to be set apart, our lives slowly being transformed to be like Jesus. Our walking in holiness means a willingness to give up that which bears no fruit, corrupts and is not in line with our faith. It means being willing to go where He is, no matter the cost to us, or how different it will make us look.
Following Jesus means taking risks, something most of us aren't too comfortable with. It means critical thinking and examining all aspects of life. When Jesus calls, He means for us to follow. We aren't to stop to consult with 'experts', think it over for a few weeks, during which we come up with every 'logical' excuse not to follow what He has asked! Then we are not becoming, as John says, "less and less." We are then making "more and more" of ourselves by not following and making a 'god' out of our human reasoning and logic, which is almost always faulty.
Noah, when asked to build the ark, did not consult with 'experts.' God gave Him instructions as to how to build the ark exactly. David, before confronting Goliath, did not take a survey of who thought he could defeat the giant. Moses was directed by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. He didn't stop along the way to consult others to see if he would find the strength to do it. Would any of these great men have done the work of God had they stopped to consult with humans? Jonah, who did hesitate (disobey) was swallowed by a whale, only to be spit out three days later, upon which he realized the only way was to follow God without hesitation!
Finally, Mary, who had just been told quite shocking news, who probably felt a lot of fear that she was to bear the Son of God said: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38
What if Mary had hesitated, argued, dilly dallied? Consulted experts of the day? She probably would have been told she was crazy, not to follow God and to simply continue on in her life as it was. She would have led a life without risk, a life of false comfort, and while God would have loved her just as much, she would have disobeyed and not experienced God's best.
May we be willing, like Mary and other great people of the Bible to truly go where God is, where He guides and follow only His voice, not mans, and not our own. This is truly the way to a life of holy success. When He speaks---in a whisper---may we say "Yes, Lord."
Prayer: "Lord, give me the courage to answer you when you call. Show me truth, your truth, in a world that blurs and discolors it. Show me how to live holy and set apart for you, to go where you are, not allowing any sin to harden me to your ways. Amen."
Things to examine on a path to following ONLY Jesus as Lord. Examine all things in light of scripture, and the truth the Holy Spirit sheds. The things we let in our lives matter, decisions we make shape and affect us, as well as discreetly begin to cover up the Truth.
~Books/Speakers listened to
~Ways of handling money and material possessions
~Examining if we are living God's call for our life, and things He might have us change
~Are we reflecting the world (look exactly like it) or are we being transformed in Christ's image?
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever." 1 John 2:15-17
"Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth." Colossians 3:2