Tuesday, July 15, 2008

How Long Will You Follow?

Matthew 15
32 Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.
33 And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?
34 And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes.
35 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.
36 And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
37 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.
38 And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children.


God has been asking me this question for two weeks, as I am seeing so much in myself concerning servant hood. I must be honest - I have always thought of myself as a good "follower", but I can see that God is taking me to another level. He is demanding more of me, and as He chastises me, I see where I have been weak in following the leaders God has placed over my life.

It's interesting how we operate in ministry. The goal seems to be to secure your "own" ministry and make your "own" calling known. Yet, we so often forget the BODY. Alone, we cannot glorify God to the fullest. It takes the entire Body, fitly joined together, to complete the work. One can put a thousand to flight, but two - ten thousand!

How long will you follow?

As I read the Scripture over and over, the Lord began to speak to me about the multitude that followed Jesus. These were a group of people who were so eager to be fed spiritually, that they followed a controversial leader and were faithful to follow Him, even when they weren't fed for three days. Now, this crowd was not intentionally fasting. Yet they continued with Jesus as He did the work of the ministry.

If we would be honest, so many of us would not follow God for three days if He didn't feed, cloth and take care of us. We certainly have a problem following a man or woman of God who has been assigned over our lives if we feel we have no TANGIBLE benefit! If the crowd was concerned about their own well being more than obedience and ministry, they would have never witnessed one of the greatest miracles mentioned in the Scriptures. How much have you missed because you refused to follow? Selah.

I will be the first to admit - I have doubted leaders who could seemingly minister to everyone except those who were closest to them. Yes, I have resented some leaders when they took care of everyone else, but didn't seem to notice my struggle. However, I had a mind to be faithful and obedient to God. What happened? Miracles took place in my life! When I think about it, I wonder how much of God I actually missed because I became too hungry before the manifestation of power!

People of God, we must stop judging the integrity of our leaders, churches, mentors, etc. based on what they can do for us. We are to seek first the Kingdom of God. Then, all the other things shall be added. Our leaders are not perfect, but if we are called to follow, there may be some days of famine. Our loyalty, in those seasons, is first to God. Obedience is better than sacrifice.

What if God told you to follow your leader, but your bills were not paid? How long would you follow?
What is the Lord called you to serve and heal others, while your body remained sick? How long would you follow?
Perhaps God has placed you in a situation where your voice cannot be heard. How long will you follow?

If you are in the center of God's will, he has not forgotten you. Follow until you see God move in your obedience!

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