Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Follow the leader

Fans follow their sports team.
The talmead follow their Rabi.
Groupies go after their band.
Fitness clients seek the direction of their personal trainer.
The church congregation looks to their pastor.
Yoga students look to their Guru.
Married couples seek out advice from their counselor.
And people everywhere seek the advice of Dr. Oz.

It seems that everywhere you look everyone is following something or someone.
Time for some self-reflection.
Who or what are you following?

You don't have to speak it out loud. If it is Oprah I'm guessing you'd rather keep that to yourself.
Upon honest reflection I think it is safe to say that we all could come up with at least one person we are following. The question is: do we want that to be who we follow? Do we want our footsteps to be in lock step with that person? Is that really who we should be imitating?

Over the course of my young life I know that I have followed in the footsteps of many faulty leaders. Some have been actual people and other times it has been a "way" that isn't THE WAY. I've ordered my life and steps in accordance with some earthly concept or some human in the flesh.
What a grave mistake that has been.
Following in the path of anyone but Jesus is a path doomed for destruction. Even the best intentioned of leaders is flawed, they are human. Any way created by those sinful humans is just as flawed and just as doomed. The ideas of these people or the road they are taking may look appealing. Their life might seem to be doing just fine; better than yours in fact. It is tempting to want to emulate what they are doing. The personal trainer at your gym is in great shape so you are inclined to want to do just what she is doing - even if that means hitting the gym on Sunday and counting every last calorie you consume. The other employee at your work seems to be doing better at sales so you start using some of his tactics even though they include smudging the truth (aka lying). Your pastor has a thriving congregation and what seems to be the "perfect" family. You begin to idolize his teaching, putting your trust in hope in his sermons and not in the living, breathing word of God.
On the surface your leader looks like they have the answers. By earthly standards this may seem like a good person to follow. But if they are who you are looking to for your direction, purpose and guidance then you're leader might as well be walking you right off the side of a cliff.
There is only one leader who we are to put our trust and faith in. No one on this earth holds the key to our destiny or sits on the throne of heaven. It is God who knows the future. He sent Jesus Christ in the flesh, giving us footsteps to follow in. He has given us the Holy Spirit as a guide to dwell inside of us.
God can provide us counsel through other people along our path but He will never provide us a leader apart from Himself. He is our leader, His footsteps are to be our footsteps. There is no other way apart from His that we are to follow. No other man made religion or concept. Not a single self-help book or revolutionary step-by-step plan. God is our plan. He is our guide. He is the book. He is our leader.
Search your heart and find your leader. Is it God? If He isn't, He can be. He wants nothing more than to be your leader. If you have claimed Him as your own but have let someone else slip into His leadership position you can make that right. You can stop following your leader. You can turn back to God and begin to follow Him. He is still in the business of leading even though you might have strayed from following.
God will always wait for you. His offer to be your leader doesn't come with an expiration date. This isn't a guided tour that has left the premises. He is ready and willing to be your leader. All He asks is that you follow Him.

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