Following His Ways

Screenshot_2016-07-25-10-34-44(1)Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciples must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me”; (Matt. 16:24).

Wherever Jesus went, He drew great crowds. Although the multitude often followed Him as the Messiah, their view of who the Messiah was and what He came to do was distorted. They believed He would usher in the “New Kingdom,” freeing them from the oppressive rule of the Roman occupiers. Even Jesus’ inner circle of disciples thought the Kingdom was coming soon.

As Jesus began to teach them the cost of being a disciple, He shared intimate details about how He would die at the hands of the Jewish leaders and Gentile overlords. At that moment, His popularity sank; (Luke 9:22). It’s recorded that many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him; (John 6:66).

The testing of their faith revealed their level of faith and exposed what they truly believed. For this reason, many of them departed. They didn’t realize they were acting out of their five senses related to the flesh. The flesh reacts to what it sees, hears, smells, tastes, and touches, which occurs in the natural or earthly realm. Jesus’ teaching was of the spirit realm, which requires faith. For we walk by faith and not by sight; (2nd Cor. 5:7).

Following Jesus is easy when things go our way, and our needs are met. But, the level of steadfast commitment is revealed during trials. It’s in the hard places, those dry seasons, that demonstrate our strengths and weaknesses. Discipleship demands sacrifice, and Jesus never hid that fact or the cost. Commitment to Christ means taking up “your cross daily,” giving up your carnal thinking, and following His ways. Trust and obedience are paramount when you choose to follow Jesus.

“Will you continue to follow Jesus when things appear to be falling apart in your life? Will you still trust Him when you can’t trace Him?”

Before you answer these questions, count the cost of your sacrifice. It cost Jesus His life. Are you willing to sacrifice your old life at the expense of following Jesus?