Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Following the Leader

A herd of black cows. Twenty-five or thirty of them parade across the pasture. All following one solitary cow. Some in single file. Some in groups of three or four. Some meander in typical bovine-like fashion. Except the stragglers at the back of the line. Frisky. Energetic. Must have been the young ones. And not the lead cow. She walks with purpose. Like she knows what she's doing. Where she's going. To find shade from the sizzling sun. To find water to drink. She never looks back to see if the others are following. Head bobs forward. Her whole body thurst into arriving at her designation. I don't know if this leader knew what she was doing or not. Frankly, I've never seen a cow move like that. Watching these animals made me wonder about the herd. Did they know who they followed? Their destination? Their purpose? I began to ask myself a few questions: Who or what do I follow? Do I know my leader? Do I follow blindly? Or with purpose? Jesus set up some criteria for following the leader. Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me" (Matthew 16:24). In order to follow Him, we have to deny ourselves. Deny myself? Jesus can't be serious about that can He? I mean we live in a culture that encourages us to accumulate things for ourselves. Tons of things. Whether we need them or not. Just spend. Indulge. We're worth it of course. And the more things that we have, the more we're worth. Right? Well, I can't speak for you, but I can tell you that I've paid dearly. On more than one occasion. For believing this lie. The truth is that when we deny ourselves--put Christ first--we find a purpose that we'll never find in our possessions. Jesus also said that we have to take up our cross if we want to follow Him. Carry my cross! What's He talking about? I thought. You know. That He's the One who carried the cross. My cross. Yes, He did carry our cross. Was nailed to it so that we could have an intimate, eternal relationship with Him. Yet there's still a cross for us to carry. With His help. In His strength. As He abides in us. As we abide in Him. The world. Our culture. Cannot understand this concept. Ever. But that's no reason for us to excuse ourselves from obeying this command. In carrying our cross, we truly come to know Christ. His love. His truth. That He will never leave us or forsake us. Only as we deny ourselves and take up our cross, can we follow Him. With purpose. With passion. Jesus Christ. Our Savior. Our Lord. Master. The true leader. Sweet dreams, Deb


  1. Thank you for your thoughts. What a wonderful reminder for us to pick up my cross daily and follow Him. To lay down all my cares at the foot of His cross, where by the grace of God they are forgiven and I am set free. Walking in obedience, B.

  2. Sometimes I wonder if I am carrying it wrong and that is why it gets so heavy. :) I keep thinking that it should be lighter or I should be getting stronger and feeling the results of a consistent workout. I guess I needed to read the "daily" part again. Thanks.

  3. Brook,

    Thank you for reminding us that He wants us to cast all of our cares on Him. He never intends for us to carry our cares alone.

    He's so good to meet us at our place of need.

    Hope you're having a sensational summer.


  4. Sometimes, I need to follow blindly, content to not be in the lead and in the "not-knowing." Keep trusting and denying, friend. True freedom is found as we do.


  5. Carry my cross! What's He talking about? I thought. You know. That He's the One who carried the cross. My cross.

    Crazy how we think He'd have no idea what He was asking us to do. However He asks us to follow, He's already done. Whether I'll trust enough to let Him lead me...

  6. Following Him gets easier as we see how He is so incredibly faithful even through the really difficult times in life.

    I'm finding relationship with Him is all that He requires ... Sometimes I'm so busy DOING that I forget that He just wants ME. He doesn't need me to do anything ... that comes naturally out of learning to love Him more.

    Looking forward to talking you next week! ;0)