I’m busy. Between being a wife and mother of two, school duties, full-time work and keeping friendships alive, it’s no wonder it took me 18 months to have my hair cut! They say having a young family is the busiest time of life.
Surely, people would understand if I decided to put serving in the church on hold, for when the kids are a bit older and things had settled down a bit? I could wait until the kids were independent, or even better, when my mortgage is paid off and I can work less, or not at all. That’s when I’d have time.
So, Can I Follow God Later?
When Jesus called his first disciples, imagine what would have been if they had said, “Sorry mate, can I follow you later? I’m just too busy right now!” Jesus would’ve picked another, and poor old Simon Peter and Andrew, would’ve missed out on their calling. Thankfully, we know that,
“Immediately they left their nets and followed him”. (Matthew 4:20)
The significance of these fishermen leaving their nets is that they left their livelihood and social status to follow Jesus. Many of us are fortunate in that we may not need to physically leave our homes to follow Jesus, but we do need to make the same decision in our hearts.
How Do I Follow God?
In Matthew 16:24-26, Jesus tells us that the choice to follow him comes at a cost –
“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
However, it also comes with a greater promise –
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Jesus reminds us that eternal life in his kingdom is worth far more than the fleeting treasures and pleasures that earth has to offer –
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
Denying yourself means surrendering all of ourselves and our desires to God, and choosing His ways over ours. However, the beauty and extent of God’s grace for us is that even if we surrender everything, it does not even compare to the price He paid on the cross to redeem our souls.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
What a privilege then, to follow him!
Following God Means Becoming a Disciple of Christ
Jesus’ call to his first disciples, is the same call to you and I – that is, to become his disciple and a disciplemaker to others.
‘And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”’ (Matthew 4:19)
In a time and culture when life is so “busy”, the call to respond immediately, to deny yourself, and be a disciplemaker may seem to be in competition for your precious time.
But following God is not about the amount of time we give to ministry! It’s about how surrendered our hearts are to Him, about having less of the world in us and more of Christ.
And when we do come to this place – as a disciple and fellow disciplemaker with Christ, he promises not busyness, but;
“rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)
So what are we waiting for? Let’s go make disciples!