Follow Me

Too often we over think this:

When our Lord called His disciples, He did it without irresistible pressure from the outside. The quiet, yet passionate, insistence of His “Follow Me” was spoken to men whose every sense was receptive (Matthew 4:19). If we will allow the Holy Spirit to bring us face to face with God, we too will hear what Isaiah heard— “the voice of the Lord.” In perfect freedom we too will say, “Here am I! Send me.”

– Oswald Chambers – Called by God

The Christian Lifecycle

These couple of verses struck me as interesting. There are certain cycles and rhythms to life and the Christian life is no different. So where do things start off?

9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.

Matthew 9:9

We start off as followers. Heeding the call of Jesus.

34 Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.

Mark 8:34

Jesus doesn’t call us to stay followers. He calls us to something deeper. “Calling the crowd to join his disciples”, you must give up your lives. To become a disciple it requires total commitment.

1 Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness. 2 Here are the names of the twelve apostles:

Matthew 10:1-2

Surprisingly discipleship isn’t the end goal. In verse one these twelve men are addressed as disciples and then in verse two they are apostles. It’s almost as if the disciples have finished there incubation period and are now ready to be sent out with power and authority. And I think the same is true for us. There are times of waiting and learning and once that season is done we’re given a job and the necessary tools to complete that job.

Are we all called to be apostles? I think not.

11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.

Ephesians 4:11

Not that the disciples didn’t come back to Jesus to learn more. They certainly did. In fact there’s a certain ebb and flow to the life of the disciples. Jesus teaches them and then sends them out, he teaches them some more and sends them out again.

So how does this apply to me?

What’s important here, is that there is continual growth in the Kingdom of God. He is calling us to the deeper things. Are we listening?

Prophecy

One of the things that has been on my mind lately is the question, What is prophecy? Below is the fruit of my labor.

… For the essence of prophecy is to give clear witness for Jesus.

Revelation 20:10 (NLT)

1 Corinthians 14 is a gold mine!

1 Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy. 2 … 3 But one who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them. 4 A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally, but one who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens the entire church.

1 Corinthians 14:1-4

And later…

22 So you see that speaking in tongues is a sign, not for believers, but for unbelievers. Prophecy, however, is for the benefit of believers, not unbelievers. 23 Even so, if unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your church meeting and hear everyone speaking in an unknown language, they will think you are crazy. 24 But if all of you are prophesying, and unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your meeting, they will be convicted of sin and judged by what you say. 25 As they listen, their secret thoughts will be exposed, and they will fall to their knees and worship God, declaring, “God is truly here among you.”

1 Corinthians 14:22-25 (NLT)

So based on this prophecy has a couple of roles in the Church:

  1. Encouraging and Comforting (Strengthening the entire church)
  2. Convicting unbelievers
  3. Providing a clear witness

Just incase you thought prophecy was the end all be all:

9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture!

1 Corinthians 13:9 (NLT)

And…

The prophet is a watchman over Israel for my God,
yet traps are laid for him wherever he goes.
He faces hostility even in the house of God.

Hosea 9:8

So just like the watchman of an old city the prophet plays a vital role safeguarding the people of God, but don’t expect them to always appreciate it.

16 No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel:

17 ‘In the last days,’ God says,
‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.

Acts 2:17 (NLT)

Peter said this when the Holy Spirit came. Its through the power of the Holy Spirit that this prophecy is fulfilled today. Not our own strength or imagination.

I’m sure there’s more out there, but these are the verses that jumped out at me.


 

* I pulled all these verses from Bible Gateway, check them out. 

The End Self Sufficiency 

All our promises and resolutions end in denial because we have no power to accomplish them. When we come to the end of ourselves, not just mentally but completely, we are able to “receive the Holy Spirit.” “Receive the Holy Spirit” — the idea is that of invasion. There is now only One who directs the course of your life, the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Oswald Chambers