“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” – Deuteronomy 31:8
What does it really mean to follow Jesus? What are we really supposed to do? Does that mean following a set of rules? A specific sort of devotional regiment? Or something else entirely?
Following begins with listening, hearing and understanding directions on where to go. God’s Spirit is within us, and is always leading. Learning to hear the Spirit’s voice is the key to being a good follower. We don’t need to wait for a sign to hear the Spirit – the Spirit is always inviting us to follow the Great Shepherd.
Following is full of active choices of obedience, rooted in faith. We can judge how we are doing following the Spirit based on our experience. Love, joy, peace and patience are the fruit of following the Spirit by faith. Strife, envy and wrath the opposite.
Following includes what to do and where to go, as well as what not to do and where not to go. The Spirit leads, we should follow. Sins of omission are still sins. When we don’t do what the Spirit leads us to do, that is sin just as much as doing what we know we shouldn’t.
Following Jesus means taking the steps he leads us to, placing ourselves where he guides. Discipleship is not a spectator sport. It requires taking the field, listening to the play call, then executing our individual roles for the good of the entire team.