Everyone is a follower. A speaker once told me that even leaders are followers. The critical issue is asking the question, "Who or what am I following?" Increasingly, people have begun to refer to themselves as followers of Jesus rather than Christians. I am one of those people. However, following Jesus in my daily life is not as easy as talking or writing about it.
A Bible story about King David that touched me deeply in the early 1990’s continues to influence my understanding of what it means to follow Jesus. This is a good news-bad news story (I Chronicles 11:15-19). David learns that King Saul is dead and that he is now King of Israel. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Philistines are in control of his kingdom, including Bethlehem. David is in a cave with three of his 30 mighty men. He sighs and shares a desire, a longing from his heart — "Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!" These three warriors break through enemy lines, draw water from the well in Bethlehem, and bring it back to him. David, however, pours it on the ground claiming he does not deserve such loyalty.
Three lessons from this story have stuck with me.
- Intimacy with the King is critical to hearing the desires of His heart so that I can respond appropriately to Him in love. (These men responded to a longing from the king’s heart not a command.)
- Devotion expressed in loving obedience often comes with great risk and sacrifice.
- Outcomes resulting from my obedience are left in the hands of the King — He decides the results not me.
Daily as I seek to follow the One I call King and Master, I need to listen more closely, respond more quickly, and rest in the outcomes that are in His hands.
Will you join me this week so that we may be known as mighty men and women for the King?