Game Time? Follow the Leader

Whose lead are you following? Remember the game called follow the leader? According to Wikipedia, the game entails choosing a leader and then lining up behind the leader. The kids have to mimic whatever the leader does. If they don’t follow or properly mimic the leader’s actions, guess what. They’re out of the game. Sound familiar? So whose lead are you following? Are you following the world’s lead, or are you following the Lord’s lead? Whose game are you out of? Whose game are you in? Are you winning? Or, are you losing? It all comes down to whom you’re following. 

 If you think following Jesus is the same thing as believing in Jesus, think again. Someone told me several years back there is a big difference between believing in Jesus and following Him. I had never thought of it that way. I had spent far too long believing in Him without following Him. I had begun to follow Him by studying and doing the Word, but nobody until then had ever made it that clear to me. Believing ain’t following. And not believing sure ain’t either. Alas, I was learning – at last – to follow the leader. THE leader. THE RIGHT leader. Jesus. Now, the more I study God’s Word, the more I see the difference between believers and unbelievers, and between believers who follow and those who don’t. Which one are you?
If you’re following the world, you will look, act, sound, and talk like the world. If you’re following the Lord, you will stand out from the crowd. But why? Because Jesus Christ never looked like the world, did He? He didn’t act like the world, and He most certainly didn’t talk like the world. Why not? Because Jesus Christ wasn’t created in the image of the world. He was created in the image of His Father. Not just His Father, but our Father. The same Father in whose image you and I were created. So who are you following? Who do you look like? Who do you act like? Who do you sound like? Do you stand out in a crowd like Jesus did, or are you blended in to the ways and image of the world so much there is nothing at all different about you? Or, are you lost somewhere in between – straddling, ouch, the fence? 

Are you watching your leader? Are you listening to your leader? Are you following your leader? Who is your leader? If you’re looking to television, movies, magazines, books, store windows, catalogs, school, the news, friends, co-workers, family, whatever, whoever, even yourself, anyone but the Lord, to figure out what to look like and how to sound and act, you might be following the leader. But you’re following the wrong one. 
So you wonder what will happen to your life if you make the big move and get your eyes off the world and onto Jesus. If you change leaders. Or, if you’re straddling the fence, if you jump over onto the right side and stop looking back and forth between the leading of the world and the leading of the Lord. If you take the big plunge, break off from following the world, and give your all to following Him. What will happen to your life? You’ll lose it. Plain and simple. 

You will lose your way of seeing stuff, your way of doing stuff, your way of thinking and acting and being. And you’ll lose the world’s way. Yes, you most assuredly will lose your life. The life you’ve always known. Life according to following the world. But in losing your life, you will gain His life. And you will gain the new life you were intended to have, and to live, all along. The life God has for you. Your new life in Him. Your new life for Him. Life not according to the world. Life according to God.
Will you be thrown out of the world’s game for breaking off from following the world’s lead? Absolutely. The world is never happy when it loses one of its own, and the devil ain’t happy either when he watches a follower of the world give up the game to follow the Lord. In fact, the world has been known to ridicule, to scoff at, to hate, to lash out at, to give a hard time to, and even to persecute, people who drop out of the game to follow Jesus. But then, Jesus has overcome the world. And, if you choose to follow His lead, you, too, shall overcome. 

And that’s just the beginning. Because the life of following Jesus is so infinitely better, more blessed, more beautiful, more bountiful, and, yes, eternal, that following the world can’t even hold a light to it. But then, how could it? Jesus is the light. And He offers this light to you, and to me. He is the light, and the leader, we are called to follow. 

And when you make the choice to let go of holding onto the cares and people and stuff of this world to follow Him, unreservedly, devotedly, wholeheartedly, and passionately, you will come to see that getting out of the world’s game is not such a great loss after all. You will soon discover that when you’re willing to lose the ways and friendship of this world, that you will rejoice in the greatest win of all. Forever friendship with God.

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 KJV

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12 KJV

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4 KJV

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105
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