The Path Of Following The Lord

The Path Of Following The Lord

Sister Miki Terayama - 31 July 2022

Weekend Devotion: The Path Of Following The Lord

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We all know about following the Lord. We know how it important it is to abide and be led by His ways. But when we are honest with ourselves, this “following” could have its lack and limitations. Sometimes we follow, sometimes we fall away. Sometimes we even intentionally choose the other direction because of our warring desires. So how can I improve the way I follow the Lord? How can I follow the Lord more closely, more consistently? Now, when Jesus called Peter and Andrew as His first disciples, He said in Matthew 4:19-20, “And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” Back in those days, people can physically, literally follow the person that is Jesus- watching how He lives, observe His interaction with people, learn from how He abides by the Lord’s guidance. For our times now, it is actually not that far of a difference. Even though we do not have the physical presence of Jesus with us, we cannot see Him personally working on things, but we have the Bible, the revealed Word of God that instructs us. Most importantly, we also have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we definitely possess all the power cards to follow the Lord in our lives. But how do we move on from here?

 

Watch Out for Danger Signs on your Path

Firstly, we have to be watchful of the danger signs as we follow the Lord. Our heart is a big receptor of all things we face daily. Thus, we have to be careful what our heart is inclined to and our spiritual focus. In Matthew 16:8-12, when the disciples were busy worrying about not bringing any bread, Jesus said, “O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”  What are the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees? They have the possession of all the right knowledge of faith, but they do not have a sanctified faith living. They hold onto traditions but let go of God’s laws. Outwardly, they look sprightly and pious, yet within their hearts are filled with much unrighteousness. So we have to be wary not to fall into these categories, where our hearts are tripping into these potholes because we ignore these danger signs of faith deviation, while focusing on other matters. So, what are you worrying and focusing all your heart on today? Our faith cannot be in our heads or on our appearance, but coming from an understanding within our hearts, which translates into actions. To follow the Lord rightly, is to let Him live within our hearts— not the “store room” but in every corner of our hearts. When the Lord lives and slowly transforms our hearts through His sanctifying Word, we will see the fruits of following the Lord bearing in our practical living too.

So brothers and sisters, always examine your heart’s desires and direction. The right heart will be one willingly led by the gospel to love God and men. If we sense some resistance, we have to find out what it is and the root of that inertia. Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus answered one of the questions that the Pharisees are testing Him on. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” In other words, if we often do things and make decisions according to our selfish inclinations, once again, we will start enthroning ourselves as our own lord. The heart to love God and men becomes a love for self. Therefore, when we meet with some challenges and problems, we should all them more examine our hearts closely. Our motives in choosing an option. Is it to exalt God or some other form of self? After doing so, will we grow in love for God and the people around us? Actually, God does not want us to always mull over what decisions to make, but whether we use Him at the focal point of whether the choice comes from. 

Get Help for Directions

Now one special power card that believers of God have is that we can approach Him and seek help. James 4:2b-3 says, “You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” Now if our heart is in the right place, not pursuing selfish benefits and pleasures, then God will surely listen to our prayers. As it says in 1 Peter 3:12, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” But of course, the response of God to our prayers can differ. He may reveal to us immediately, it may take a few days or even a long period of time. Even though some responses from the Lord may not be obvious or meet us at a much later time, but when we seek the Lord with a humbled and surrendered heart, as we wait upon Him, we will receive greater treasures along the way. The reward of knowing Him more, knowing ourselves more and knowing others or the circumstances better. Most importantly, our faith will increase as we rely on Him.

Only Answerable to God.

Finally, if we want to follow the Lord closely, we have to know that ultimately, He is the only One we are answerable to. In our faith journey, we may deviate our focus or place our perspective based on other things, outside of God. This is somehow similar to the time when Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him for 3 times and Jesus explained to Him, telling Peter to follow Him. Yet after that, Peter still questioned Jesus about who is going to betray Him. In John 21:22, “Jesus said to Him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” So, if we do all things with a knowing that we are only answerable to God, even if some of the things we say or do may not be so desirable, we can be assured that the Lord is pleased with us. This is what truly matters. 

May the Lord bless us, in having a heart that loves God, seeks Him and is only answerable to Him. 

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Miki Terayama
miki.terayama@gmail.com

Miki is a full-time ministry staff at The Blessed Run Ministries. She is a sister who shares a natural, God-given affinity with children and youths. She is married to Randy (NET Group Youth Leader) and has two little ones of her own, Liora and Jude. She is involved in the children, youth and social media ministries.

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