A couple of months ago The Go Project contacted me about writing for their blog and asked me one question: What does it mean to follow Jesus? Take a look at their website, and check out what I wrote for them below or click here!
What does it mean to follow Jesus?
I think this is one of the greatest questions to ask only because at some point there’s going to be a crossroads and you’re going to decide Jesus or that something else.
See the Gospel is a recognition of Jesus Christ as Savior AND Lord. I think most people don’t have a problem with Jesus being their Savior; who doesn’t want Heaven? But for most people the hang up when deciding to follow Jesus is accepting Him as Lord over your life. This means you’re making Him the BOSS over your life. You’re saying, “God, whatever you want to do with my life, I’m okay with that, even if it’s nothing like I plan or dream,” and this statement is difficult.
For me, I made the decision to follow Jesus when I was 7. Yes, I know I was young, but I was absolutely convinced that I was sinful and in need of a Savior and I knew I needed God to direct my life.
But this acceptance of Jesus as Savior and Lord is a daily thing for me. It’s a daily acceptance that I am not in charge of my life. I, by no means, am perfect at this. In fact, I’m far from perfect! I love my dreams and I love my own ideas, so surrendering what I love most is extremely difficult.
But here’s what I’ve learned: each time I’ve given up a dream or plan, Jesus was (and is) with me, and His plans and dreams for my life are immeasurably better than anything I could possibly imagine for myself.
Really?? Is this really true??
Back in 2015, I was faced with a decision: what will I put first—the things of God or the things of this world? I knew I said God you’re first in all things, but what does that look like for God to actually be first? That means giving up anything that gets in the way of Him.
Let me be honest, I battled with this for a solid 6 months. I would challenge God and ask the WHY question multiple times! I wanted an immediate, easy fix, but that is not what God had in mind (and now I’m so thankful for this long journey). After many nights of tears, meeting with mentors and counselors, and earnestly seeking after God, I gave it all up to Him. Anything that was above Him, I separated myself from that—and I’m talking about lifelong relationships and physical objects. This was not easy, but each step of the way, God was there. He proved Himself faithful in each place of surrender.
Was there immediate blessing because of obedience? Yes, but it was much smaller than I thought it would be. I think we are so used to receiving BIG rewards for our own goodness that anything less than that disappoints us. That was me. I thought because I acted in obedience, God would allow me to slay my own Goliath, but no. The blessings I received were just little moments here and there—such as finding it amazing that God speaks to me in my quiet time or God providing a meal for me. These were huge blessings. I didn’t need to slay Goliath in order to be blessed big time and that was something God was teaching me—the little blessings are big time blessings!!
It was through this time I really started to enjoy God. And God kept me in this place for about 2 years. It was a place of getting to know God, allowing Him to get to know me, and resting in who He is.
When 2017 rolled around, God was pushing me out of this new found comfort and on into a new push in ministry. I knew by now if God was calling me to it, it was easier to just do it. I gave God 2017 and just told Him I wanted to see Him be big.
Now here’s the cool part: God showed up! He showed up immeasurably more than I could have imagined. Saying YES to giving it all up ended in an immeasurable amount of blessing—and it’s still happening. Deciding to give it all up, gave the God all the space to do immeasurably more in my life.
In 2017, I was scared to start a Bible study with women from school, but knew that’s what God wanted. I sent an email to 8 ladies and 20 bought the book we studied. Even still to this day those ladies are more involved in the local church, and a couple of them are now leading Bible studies!
I even took a trip to Ecuador and watched God move in the hearts of the Ecuadorians, but even in my own life God challenged me in forgiving others and grew me in ways I didn’t even know needed growth.
But the mundane was even a blessing. The student I discipled for 3 years was graduating high school and taking big leaps in her faith to trust the Lord in everything. Even when she left for college, God provided 3 new girls to start meeting with regularly. Watching these ladies grow in their faith is quite possibly one of the biggest blessings of all. There is nothing like watching others in the faith follow Jesus with everything!
All of this is simply the beginning of whatever God has in store for my life. He’s up to a far better story than I could ever write for myself. Each time He asks me to do something hard, He always provides the peace, courage, and strength to do it. Some I begrudgingly do, but after walking in obedience with Him, I know it’s far better than anything I could dream up, and somewhere along the journey my begrudgingly attitude changes.
Following Jesus is difficult. If anyone says it’s easy—they are lying. But it is WORTH IT! Every bit of it, it’s worth it.
The relationship with God can be summed up into multiple words, but I think it can be ultimately traced back to Matthew 28:18-20 when Jesus gave a command to the disciples to GO! It doesn’t matter if God is calling you to give something up, GO for it. If God is calling you into a realm of ministry, GO! If God is calling you into a deeper relationship, GO! If you’re like I’ve never made Jesus my Savior AND Lord, GO! If God is calling you into a season of waiting, GO there.
Living a life with Jesus is one of action! It’s not one of sitting, but rather a journey of GOING wherever the Lord leads.
I firmly believe living a life with Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior will be the best decision you could ever make in this life. Jesus brings you the life you ultimately need! Yes, it’s hard, but it’s totally worth it.