At this, many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him (John 6:66)
Did you know that good and godly leadership is about following? Yes, it is about becoming a follower of One . . . and that One is Jesus Christ. I pray that today’s word of encouragement will bless your soul.
Whether you are leading your company, your family, your small group, or just yourself, we are all leading others. Even when we are not in any position of obvious leadership, others are watching us, simply because we have professed our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In order for our walk to match our talk and bring the most glory God and lasting good to others, we must commit to becoming a follower of One.
When we are fully and unreservedly following Jesus, we will go wherever He leads us, unlike the many disciples who deserted Him because His teaching was too “hard” (John 6:60). To be sure, there are times when following the Lord can be hard. It is easy to stay in step with Jesus when He is leading us down the smooth path of progress, where the sky is blue, the clouds are fleecy, and the sun is brightly shining. But what about when Jesus leads us down a difficult path that is littered with pitfalls, problems, and even pain? How do we respond when we cannot see the sun and the storm winds begin to blow? Our natural, sinful tendency is to separate ourselves from Jesus, thinking we will create distance from the difficulties we are facing by doing so. But nothing could be further from the truth! Our loving Lord has ordained the difficult path for us to walk, but He has promised to walk it with us every step of the way.
Can you imagine what Levi (Matthew) must have been thinking when Jesus said, “Follow me”? Here is this hated Jewish tax collector, seen as a traitor by his countrymen because of his service to Rome. Levi was making a lot of money at the expense of his own people and was completely protected by the Roman government. This is the last person anyone would think Jesus might be interested in; furthermore, Jesus would be the last person anyone would think a self-serving tax collector would be interested in following, yet “Levi got up and followed him” (Matthew 9:9). In an instant, Levi abandoned his old life and embarked on a new life in Christ. He gave up his position of power and protection to become a follower of One.
Who have you been following lately? Remember, we cannot judge the direction of our lives based on the difficulties we are facing. Jesus leads us down the difficult path because He is more concerned about our holiness than our happiness. The ultimate purpose, of course, is to conform us into His image. This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!