Why is it hard to follow Jesus - @josepheparker

Posted by Tomilola O on Monday, December 22, 2014 with 2 comments

What does it really mean to follow Jesus?
I ask this question to myself almost every time I tend to either find my spirituality in or out of sync with Him. When I’m dancing in tune with the music I sense heaven is playing, there is always a sense of wonder: How do I sustain this? How do I make this last forever? The music almost always stops when I’m suspended in mid-air trying to perform a new “spiritual dance trick.” In my weak state, in my disappointment in the inability to preserve these halo-moments, I stand next to the holiness of God in light of the Scriptures and I break down, literally; weeping on the floor, crying “More!”
At the other end of the spectrum, I find myself doing more of the things I would rather not do; the partaking of my sinful desires and the grand scheme of covering it all up in one giant magical swoosh. These cravings inevitably give me a chance to pause and ponder: Why am I doing this? Why am I enjoying this? I claim to be a Christian. I shout “Lord, Lord!” but I do not do what He says (Luke 6:46.) Sin exposes my true desires and wants and cravings.
Sin is selfish.
It is a “me-first” mentality.
I am in a one-sided relationship with Jesus.
I do what I want, when I want it, and how I want it. Yet, I claim to follow Jesus. But is this what it really means to follow Jesus?
I did not set out to write this post series (in fact, as I write these very words, I doubt if this “book” will ever see the light of the day), but as I wake up every morning, there is a tug within that I can never seem to ignore. Maybe I am scared that I would reveal too much of my sins to the world and I want to do everything in my power to hide them for this is one thing I seem to be good at: hiding my sins. But like cancer, it spreads and immobilises me. Something happened to me when I met Jesus. An inexplicable love had scarred and smeared my heart with a sizzling hot fiery dagger and it has never really remained the same with me. Yet, I still go back to the very things Jesus came to conquer once and for all for me, and for you dear reader.
No matter where you are in your life,
whether you know Jesus or not,
whether you are religious or irreligious,
whether you believe or not,
there is an open door hinged at the end of a very dark room that seems to say, “Come.”
We agree that the church ought to be the followers of Jesus, but that doesn’t mean that we are all in agreement with that. There is so much disagreement in the church today about what it really means to be a follower of Jesus. And it is a really simple concept. Jesus says,“Follow me.”That’s the first thing He says to His disciples: “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19). And that’s also the last thing he implies to them: “Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt. 28:19). He was telling them to go out and make these other followers of Him and “baptise them and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Now why doesn’t this command work in every area of our lives?
Imagine if you told your son:
“Go clean your room.”
And then a few moments later he comes to you and says,
“Hey dad, I can memorise what you had commanded me. You said ‘Go clean your room.’”
Or he says something along this line,
“Hey dad, I can say ‘Go clean your room in Greek. Listen…’”
Or he tells you how he would gather his friends every week and they were going to do a study on what it would look like if he actually cleaned his room. Now, as a parent, you know that none of those scenarios are going to fly with you. The boy should know better, right? He should buckle up and go clean his room.
Jesus was as black and white as He could get when He gave us the commands of “Follow me” and “Go and make disciples.” He would look at people and say “Why do you call me Lord, when you don’t do what I say?”(Luke 4:46). Why would you call someone your Master and not listen to Him? And He says in Matt. 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my father who is in heaven.”
In John chapter 6, Jesus said some really difficult words, and this was in front of thousands of people, and when He’s done teaching, everyone leaves except for twelve men. Everyone leaves going, “Arggh, this is some hard teaching, I cannot take that message, I cannot stomach that.” And Jesus looks at the twelve who were left and He asks them a very simple question, “You guys want to leave also?” And then Peter’s reply was very profound and yet simple: “Where are we going to go? You have the keys to eternal life. I know your message is hard, but where are we going to go?”
You think you’re out for this life that is so difficult, then you realise that there is blessing and you have more peace in taking this hard road than going with this wide road that everyone else is going on. And Jesus is at this door, and He says,
“Just take this. Follow me.”
And then you learn that all of the things He is telling you to let go of and walk away from are the things that were going to destroy you anyway.
Joseph blogs here